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Solo In Chicago

...empowering the Second City's entrepreneurial legal community

Monday, October 15, 2007

We don't need lawyers, says the Old Grey Lady

NYTimes had a piece Sunday pitching the various online providers of non-lawyer estate planning documents. Nothing too new...now that we have these sophisticated software programs who needs lawyers yada yada yada...

One thing I take from this article though is a mindset I think is just wrong. Essentially, that all legal services are expensive. And, if this is the public mindset this should be changed because it's wrong...particularly in some of these basic estate planning areas. Here's a quote from the article:

“I don’t like lawyers. I think they’re extremely overpaid,” Mr. Chuang said. “With all the services on LegalZoom, I don’t see myself using a lawyer for anything, unless it’s a lawsuit.”

Surely anyone who paints a broad swath of people as the quote does is ignorant but I surely think the "overpaid" misperception is out there. We should work to change that because that working/middle class is under-lawyered in reality and it's a very fertile market.

Here was an innovative nugget from the article:

In 2003, an Albuquerque tax lawyer, Matthew Urrea, started Walk in Wills, a strip-mall storefront next to a Target store. Clients meet with a lawyer for a free initial consultation, then pay a flat fee if they decide to draw up a will ($249 for individuals, $349 for couples) or a living trust ($995 and up).


At 7:48 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Too many think wills and trusts are a commodity item, like buying a loaf of white bread at a grocery store. But a good lawyer asking good questions can make a huge difference in the way a family plans.

At 9:14 AM, Blogger Peter said...

What I find humerous is that people often don't use lawyers in certain areas where legal fees are minimal. For example, basic estate planning and residential real estate are low fee areas, and yet people often choose to go it alone in these fields.


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