Not everyone has a lawyer on retainer. Even if you do, your lawyer might not specialize in the type of law required for your business or personal needs.
That’s why online legal services are so helpful. With just a few clicks, you can access legal documents, find a nearby attorney, set up your business, and seek legal counsel for any need.
The 10 Best Online Legal Services of 2022
- Rocket Lawyer — Best for fast legal help
- Incfile — Best for setting up your startup
- Lawyer.com — Largest directory of local and regional lawyers
- LegalZoom — Best for pain-free IP protection
- LegalNature — Best for DIY legal documents
- LegalShield — Best full-coverage legal plans for small business
- Nolo — Best for doing it all yourself
- Avvo — Best online legal Q&As
- UpCounsel — Best for outsourcing your legal department
- LegalMatch — Best online legal service for finding an attorney near you
In this guide, I highlight the top features, benefits, use cases, and considerations for each service. I also call out any weaknesses or issues that might be relevant.
Read on to learn more and find the best service for your needs.
Best Online Legal Services Reviews
Rocket Lawyer – Best for Fast Legal Help
- Get legal advice within a business day
- Monthly & single doc prices
- Fast access to documents
- Exceptional mobile app
Rocket Lawyer offers an online legal service that helps people create legal documents and get legal advice as fast as possible.
As their name suggests, they give you a variety of ways to quickly access attorneys and their advice including phone, email, or chat. RocketLawyer will connect you with attorneys that cover a wide range of topics including family law, wills, business contracts and documents, criminal law, personal injury, employment law, and real estate.
They also have an excellent legal advice portal where you can type in your legal question and get answers back within a business day.
If you need even more help, they can help connect you with an actual lawyer to talk to about your matters. Their helpful lawyer directory allows you to choose the legal topic you want a pro to consult with, along with your state so they can connect you with someone knowledgeable with local laws. It takes just a few minutes to do.
Rocket Lawyer also has an extensive resource library for its customers. This online legal service also helps individuals and business owners create legal documents for a wide range of use cases.
Here are a few documents they help you create and process:
- Non-Disclosure Agreement
- LLC Operating Agreement
- Independent Contractor Agreement
- Business Contract
- Lease Agreement
- Eviction Notice
- Intent to Purchase Real Estate
- Quitclaim Deed
Their service can also help with more personal matters such as estate planning and healthcare directives.
Rocket Lawyer offers two ways to pay: You can pay a monthly membership fee of $39.99 per month to access free services and discounted documents. Alternatively, you pay per use based on what you need.
When you go the a la carte route, Rocket Lawyer charges $39.99 per document. If you know you’re going to need multiple documents at once or need legal documents created on an ongoing basis then the monthly membership is definitely worth it.
Rocket Lawyer comes with a great mobile app. This gives you fast access to your documents from anywhere. You can even sign agreements directly in the app.
Incfile – Best for Setting Up Your Startup
- Form an LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or nonprofit
- Starts at $0
- Next-day processing
- Customized by state
Incfile offers an online legal service that specializes in business formation. If you have ever tried to set up a business yourself, you know how helpful it is to have someone who understands the law on your side.
Simply choose your entity type (LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or Nonprofit) and select your state of formation to proceed. Not sure which entity type is best for you? Incfile will help you choose the best entity type based on your needs.
Beyond choosing your entity type, there are a lot of other steps to starting a business. Incfile helps you get the legal stuff locked down the right way, and helps you grow your business on a firm foundation.
Incfile has three different packages. The rates for each vary by state.
All plans include:
- Company name availability verification
- Preparation and filing
- Registered agent service (free for one year)
- Lifetime company alerts
- Online status tracking
- Free business tax consultation
- Lifetime support
- Online access to your incorporation documents
- Next day business processing
The basic plan is $0. The only cost is your state’s registration fee.
However, you’ll have to pay extra for things like an EIN/Tax ID, IRS Form 2553, operating agreements, and the like. Incfile also provides long-term assistance with compliance and trademark registration.
I recommend going with at least the Gold package. It comes with all those extras along with unlimited phone and email support, express shipping, expedited filing, and FedEx Delivery.
To find the exact cost for your startup, just select an entity type and choose your state. You can get a quote from Incfile in seconds.
Lawyer.com – Largest Directory of Local and Regional Lawyers
- 1 million+ lawyers listed
- Great for personal & business consultations
- Get matched or browse nearby counsel
- Plans starting at $14.99
Whether you’re looking for quick legal assistance from an attorney in your state or unhappy with your current lawyer, Lawyer.com’s database gives you plenty of lawyers near you to choose from.
And by plenty, I mean well over 1 million lawyers nationwide. Most states in the U.S. have tens of thousands of attorneys listed on Lawyer.com. Their practice areas span the entire legal spectrum.
To get started just submit some basic information and legal issue details, and Lawyer.com will match you with a qualified attorney in your region. Unlike some other lawyer matching sites, you can even browse the database freely by city/state and area of practice.
This allows you to do your homework on potential counsel to see if they’re a good fit before committing to a consultation.
Lawyer.com puts an emphasis on personal and family legal issues, but they also accommodate business needs. This makes Lawyer.com appealing to entrepreneurs who may want both personal and business counsel.
You can get a legal protection plan from Lawyer.com starting at $14.99 per month. Generally, these plans focus on personal or family counsel, but plan members can also use any plan for business representation.
The plans give you get unlimited free consultations, 25% discounts on qualified legal fees, and no cancellation fees. Business legal areas that plan members can utilize include contracts, incorporation, partnerships, and intellectual property. That’s in addition to personal coverage in areas like accident and injury, family law, and estate planning.
Personal protection plans run $14.99 for one month, $29.99 for three months, or $119.99 for the year. Family plans include services for you, your spouse, and your children, starting at $19.99 per month or $44.99 for a three-month plan and $179.99 for a full year.
Lawyer.com’s plans may not be robust enough for some businesses and professionals, but their vast database of attorneys can be a huge help to anyone. Find a lawyer based on convenient location or pick one most suited to your preferences after doing your own due diligence and research.
LegalZoom – Best for Pain-Free IP Protection
- Comprehensive IP services
- Provisional patent applications
- Legal documents
- Wills & trusts
LegalZoom is the most diverse online legal service on the market today. This website can accommodate your personal, professional, and business needs.
Where LegalZoom really shines is in their intellectual property (IP) services. Do you need a copyright or a trademark for your brand? A utility or a design patent?
LegalZoom walks you through all the crucial paperwork needed to protect your IP.
They’re also one of the most comprehensive services for prior art, patent, trademark, copyright searching. You can also get help filing utility, design patents, and provisional patent applications in just three steps.
LegalZoom’s online legal services can be segmented into four main categories.
- Business formation
- Corporate changes and filings
- Business compliance
- Business names
- Trademark, patent, and copyright
- Real estate
- Taxes, licensing, and permits
- Legal forms and agreements
- Trademark search
- Trademark registration
- Copyright registration
- Design patent
- Utility patent
- Provisional patent application
Wills, Trust, and Family
- Estate planning
- Marriage and divorce
- Residential lease
- Property lease
- Financial power of attorney
- Business consultation
- Personal consultation
- Contracts and agreements
- Website terms and conditions
LegalZoom offers six-month and annual plans for businesses and individuals. Individual plans start at $9.99 per month with an annual contract, and business plans start at $31.25 per month with a one-year commitment.
LegalZoom is a top choice to consider for one-time services, as well as ongoing legal needs.
LegalNature – Best for DIY Legal Documents
- Personal & business documents
- Wide range of legal forms
- Step-by-step instructions
- Create, download, & print
LegalNature gives you all you need for legal filings and templates. It’s fast, reliable, and easy for anyone to use.
For the business owner that needs a critical document that is done right, done fast, and doesn’t break the bank, LegalNature is a great option.
When it comes to non-disclosure agreements, termination forms, commercial lease agreements, and other important business documents, LegalNature helps you create without worry.
Here’s a quick overview of some of LegalNature’s top categories:
- Business formation
- Commercial property
- Estate planning
- Human resources
- Marriage and divorce
- Landlord and tenant
- Personal affairs
Choose the legal document you’d like to create and LegalNature walks you step-by-step through the entire drafting process. When you’re done, you can easily download and store the completed documents.
LegalNature offers a few different pricing options.
- Prices starting at $34.95 per document
- Unlimited updates and edits
- No subscription required
- $38.95 per month (or $7/month when paid annually)
- Single version of each document
- Access to all documents
- $58.95 per month (or $499 per year)
- Unlimited versions of each document
- Access to all documents
Whether you need legal documents for a single use or an ongoing basis, LegalNature gives you an easy way to draft offer letters, NDAs, and other HR forms that are a regular need for a growing business.
LegalShield – Best Full-Coverage Legal Plans for Small Business
- Get responses in 4 hours or less
- Unlimited advice included
- Discounts on services not covered
- Starts at $49/month
A lot can get thrown at you as a small business owner and not all of it will be great. In times of turmoil, having legal counsel in your corner is a huge plus. This is why LegalShield offers three affordable plans with 360-degree legal service.
On their small business legal service plans, LegalShield connects you with a trusted law firm in your state or in any states where you do business and need consultation. You can use them for unlimited advice and counsel on matters such as:
- Joint ventures
- Customer complaints
- Vendor issues
- Recovery services
The plans also cover 30-minute consultations on out-of-state legal matters and more specific areas of law—like tax, IP, immigration, and antitrust. Additional services needed in these areas are billed at a member discount of between 10% and 25%.
You also get a flat 25% discount on legal services not covered in your contract with your designated law firm.
All of this is included in the SMB Legal Essentials plan for $49/month, plus:
- 10 letters or phone calls per year by your counsel on your behalf
- Attorney review of up to 10 documents per year
- 5 collection letters per month
Attorneys are guaranteed to return calls in four hours or less, documents get reviewed in no more than three business days, and you’ll be connected to someone within 15 minutes in cases of legal emergency.
Step up to the two higher tiers—SMB Legal Plus for $99/month or SMB Legal Pro for $169/month—for more letters, phone calls, document reviews, and collection letters, plus interstate services, IRS audit services, and converting some discounted services to flat fees.
Connect with LegalShield to learn more, or head to their website to sign up for a small business legal plan today.
Nolo – Best for Doing it All Yourself
- Extensive library of books & ebooks
- 1-year subscription to forms
- Business advice in plain English
- Financial & estate software
Unless you’re a lawyer, you probably don’t want to do litigation yourself or represent yourself in court. But there’s a lot to business, real estate, and family law that you can handle on your own. And that’s where Nolo comes in.
While many of the other options on my list offer ways to find or retain legal counsel and advice, Nolo offers a vast library of legal products that anyone can pick up and use.
Nolo’s products are broken down into three categories: books with legal advice and guidance for common needs, all the forms you’d need to file for business and personal actions, and software for estate planning, trusts, and managing finances.
Nolo’s library of resources is extensive and are written by their team of lawyers and legal experts. You can find deep-dive guides on everything from being a landlord or negotiating a commercial lease to dealing with workplace conflict or learning to make patent drawings.
Each book contains hundreds of pages of expert advice in easy-to-understand writing, with updated editions coming out when legal guidelines or best practices change. Purchase the physical book, ebook or PDF version, or a bundle of both.
Plus, the books are supported further by the deep archive of legal articles on Nolo’s website. You can always refer to those for greater detail or context on subjects.
Many of the books also contain relevant forms on the topic, which you can easily download after purchase. You can also go straight to the forms and purchase them a la carte.
Nolo covers all the bases. They have forms for the most common legal actions, including:
- Business formation and operation
- Estate planning, trusts, and family law
- Landlord, real estate, and leases
- Intellectual property
- Taxes and finance
- Accidents and injuries
The best part is Nolo’s pricing structure. You pay a single price for a one-year subscription that allows you to create and fill as many of the form type you need.
That’s incredibly convenient for forms you need often. For example, the $34.99 for an independent contractor agreement quickly becomes dirt-cheap if you’re scaling up your W-9 workforce in a hurry.
Learn and file to your heart’s content through Nolo. You can pocket the rest of what you would’ve spent on a legal consultation.
Avvo – Best for Online Legal Q&As
- Extensive lawyer directory
- Legal questions answered online
- Tons of free articles
- Get multiple lawyer responses
Avvo is unique on our online legal services list.
The platform has an extensive lawyer directory to help you find an attorney in your area. But it also gives you free online answers to your legal questions.
You can browse questions that were asked by other people or post your own question and get responses from multiple lawyers.
Popular questions and legal advice on Avvo are related to:
- Child custody
- Criminal defense
- Landlord and tenant
- Personal injury
- Prenuptial agreement
- Traffic violations
There are hundreds of legal topics that Avvo can help you with.
In addition to the lawyer directory and free Q&A, Avvo also has tons of free articles, resources, and guides with legal advice. For those of you who need legal questions answered online but don’t want to pay expensive attorney consultation fees, Avvo is your best option.
UpCounsel – Best for Outsourcing Your Legal Department
- Network of 5,000+ lawyers
- Used by 10,000+ businesses
- Strictly confidential
- Collaborate with a lawyer online
UpCounsel is great for a wide range of legal services.
From one-time personal legal consultations to an entire freelance legal department for your business, UpCounsel has it all.
It’s even used by top brands that frequently deal with complex legal matters. If companies like AirBnB rely on UpCounsel, you know you’ll be in good hands, too.
Popular legal categories offered on UpCounsel include:
- Business formation
- General counsel
- Labor and employment
- Securities and finance
Here’s how it works.
You start by posting a “job” that is a summary of your business and legal needs. This information, and anything else you share on UpCounsel, is strictly confidential.
The UpCounsel algorithm automatically matches you with attorneys qualified to handle your specific needs. These lawyers send you proposals, and from there you can schedule a free consultation with no obligation.
Once you’ve selected the best lawyer for your needs, you hire them. All pricing is straightforward, so you never have to worry about hidden fees. You can collaborate with your lawyer directly through the UpCounsel platform.
UpCounsel makes it easy to manage all of communications in one place. The platform offers time-tracked phone calls and free document management.
You’ll also be able to manage your invoices, track your spending, and benefit from flexible payment options. If you worked with a lawyer in the past that you liked, UpCounsel makes it easy to work with them again.
If you need dedicated legal support that’s always available when you need it, reach out to UpCounsel today.
LegalMatch – Best for Finding an Attorney Near You
- Get matched with a local attorney
- High-rated licensed lawyers
- Responses within 24 hours
- In business 20+ years
LegalMatch is designed to match you with an attorney close to home. It’s the best choice for those of you seeking legal counsel in your local area.
The process is simple, quick, and straightforward. Just provide your location and choose a category from the following topic areas:
- Criminal defense
- Real estate
LegalMatch automatically connects you with a highly-rated and licensed lawyer near you. The best part? This connection and referral process is totally free.
LegalMatch has been helping people find local lawyers for the last 20 years, and more than four million cases have been posted on the site.
Once you post your case, you’ll have a response within 24 hours. This makes LegalMatch a great option for time-sensitive matters.
After you’re matched, you have full access to the attorney’s profile and background information. You also have access to user ratings and reviews shared by previous clients, so you can make an educated decision. LegalMatch also provides a complete breakdown of each lawyer’s fee structure.
LegalMatch is an ideal option for finding lawyers without pressure. Simply choose which lawyer is best for your needs after reviewing all the provided options.
You’re never under any obligation to hire a lawyer or sign a contract when you’re matched with an attorney through this platform. Try LegalMatch risk-free today.
How to Choose the Best Online Legal Service For Your Business
With so many different online legal services to choose from, it can be tough to narrow down your options.
Luckily, we can help.
This is the methodology that we use here at Quick Sprout when determining this list.
I’ll go through each factor in greater detail so you can understand what matters the most as you’re going through this process.
Legal Practice Focus
Online legal services vary according to their offerings—with each one focusing on specific areas of law.
That’s why it’s important to find one that has a category based on your needs. After all, someone going through a divorce wouldn’t need the same attorney as a freelancer drafting a contract for a new client.
Take a look at what each online legal service focuses on. Companies like RocketLawyer, LegalZoom and IncFile can help you form LLCs and corporations.
Some of them like LegalZoom and IncFile let you go deeper and help you register trademarks.
LegalZoom can even help you establish a copyright for original creative work or a patent for an invention or product. They’ve worked with creators to establish more than 650,000 IP filings and processed more than 90,000 copyright applications.
On the other hand, platforms like Avvo and LegalMatch are primarily used for finding an in-person lawyer to assist you in your area. Think of them as the Craigslist of legal services (only without the creepy, weird posts).
Also, consider whether or not you need business or personal legal needs. Some platforms offer online legal services for both businesses and individuals. Others specialize in one or the other.
Business Stage and Size
This doesn’t apply if you need an online legal service for personal matters like immigration or divorce services. If that applies to you, I recommend skipping this.
However, many of you will be using these services for your business. If that applies to you, there are two things you need to consider when researching:
- Size: How big is your business? A small mom-and-pop business isn’t going to need the same thing as the 1,000+ employee corporation.
- Stage: Where is your business in its lifecycle? For example, entrepreneurs just starting out are going to need services like business formation solutions. Whereas, established businesses might need contracts and assistance for hiring employees.
For those of you who are launching a startup, you could benefit from an online legal service like Incfile for registering your company.
Midsized companies might need infrequent but reliable legal services. A service that connects them with a good attorney like LegalMatch they might hire on occasion could be good enough in this case. One that might need some specialization from their legal advisor can depend on Rocket Lawyer.
But larger organizations that need an entire legal team or outsourced department would be better off with something like UpCounsel, which will connect you to the attorneys you need to represent your business. They specialize in helping you outsource your legal department.
Frequency of Use
How often you expect to actually use the online legal service should play a big role in your ultimate decision.
Some of you might need an attorney for just one event. Whether it’s filing paperwork, drafting a contract, or settling a dispute, we suggest Avvo or LegalMatch to find a great attorney for you.
Some of you are going to want to establish an ongoing relationship with an actual lawyer. This is especially true for business owners, who can’t necessarily afford retaining in-house counsel. Or, you might be in a specific legal situation where you need to have a lawyer on retainer or for a prolonged period of time (e.g. litigation).
You might want the ability to contact a lawyer on-demand whenever a problem or question arises. If you fall into this category, look for an online legal service with one-off plans like RocketLawyer or LegalZoom. They can connect you with lawyers who can work with you on your unique schedule.
Knowing how often you’re going to use a legal service is going to help you save money, too.
The pricing structures for online legal services vary from platform to platform. Some charge an ongoing fee for a membership, while others charge on a per-case or per-use basis. There are even some online legal services that offer free legal consultation and matching
Speed of Assistance
Timeliness is crucial when it comes to legal assistance. After all, emergencies can pop up that require legal help as soon as possible.
Platforms like LegalMatch promise that an attorney will respond to your case within 24 hours of your posting.
Avvo works a lot like Quora, allowing you to post a question and have it answered by lawyers on their website. You can also jump into their backlog of questions other users have already asked for answers to situations similar to your own.
Getting your question answered for free on an online legal forum isn’t the best option for those of you who need to speak with a lawyer within the next few hours, though. Make sure you find a platform that’s easy to use and allows you to choose a lawyer without any pressure or obligation.
There’s always a service like UpCounsel that you can choose, which will allow you to have a dedicated lawyer or team ready to help whenever issues arise.
Live Legal Assistance
In a lot of cases you won’t ever need to meet up with a lawyer. However, if you need to meet face-to-face with an attorney (due to security concerns or a complex issue), you’ll want to find a service that can connect you with a live attorney.
With the last year seeing the rise of work-from-home culture, these services will also connect you with a lawyer over Zoom or the phone—though that might depend more on the specific lawyer and firm’s communication infrastructure.
Getting matched with a lawyer that’s all the way across the country won’t be ideal in these scenarios (also, if you’re a smaller business that needs to adhere to specific local and state guidelines).
So, look for a platform that allows you to find a qualified lawyer based on your ZIP code or state. Our choices for the best services with directories— LegalMatch, Avvo, and LegalZoom—are good places to start.
The Top Online Legal Services in Summary
If you need to find a lawyer, start a business, or get legal advice, Rocket Lawyer and Incfile are the two best online legal services to consider. These platforms give you access to legal help without having to leave your home or office. Plus, you won’t always be limited to attorneys in your area.
Putting all the legal aspects of your business in order is one of the best things you can do for your company. You’ll be surprised at how affordable some of these services are, especially when you consider how much money they might save you down the road.