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The world is changing and the legal industry is changing with it. Nowadays, businesses and individuals have more options than simply hiring a traditional lawyer thanks to a new trend: online law firms. Together, these virtual firms provide hundreds of legal document templates, access to a huge pool of online lawyers and even legal subscription services.

We've taken the liberty of checking out the different options available online, so you know exactly what's out there for your legal needs.

Whether you're looking for a quick-fix legal document template or an experienced lawyer to help with a more complicated situation, chances are that you'll be able to find something to help you online.

Data indicated here is updated regularly
Name Product What's offered? Starting price to become a member Annual Fee Are legal documents free?
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$79 per month (billed monthly)
Essentials: $288
You can view samples for free and you can create your first document for free.
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$199 per month (bill monthly)
Some documents are free to download. Get access to all documents with a membership.
Net Lawman
Net Lawman
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
AU$50 per document
Prices vary per document
Wonder Legal
Wonder Legal
Legal documents and templates, Access to lawyers, Legal guides, Legal advice
$5 per document (minimum)
Prices vary per document

Compare up to 4 providers

Online lawyers

Did you know there's such thing as a virtual lawyer? And by this, we mean a lawyer who doesn't work in a traditional office-based environment, but rather offers their services online and usually on a fixed-fee basis. In fact, there has been a new wave of online law firms cropping up all over the place including Lawpath and Legal Vision, which asks for a monthly subscription fee in return for access to a huge online marketplace of virtual lawyers and other legal services.

Legal documents and templates

A quick Google search will reward you with pages and pages of online legal documents and templates. While some of these are free, like those you'll find on Law Depot, more complicated legal templates are usually available for a small fee from Wonder Legal or for a monthly subscription fee from Lawpath.

Legal guides

Legal guides are a great place to start if you're just trying to figure out what to do next or if you want to make sure you're operating within the law. These useful documents can generally be found across the Internet and provide a broad range of information on topics like employment, property and family law. The best place to start looking is on the Australian government website, where you can find the right advice according to your state or territory.

Pros and cons

Every situation is different, which is why it's good to weigh up if using an online lawyer is worth it in your specific circumstance. Here are a few things worth considering:

  • Virtual lawyers usually use fixed fees which tend to work out cheaper than hourly rates that are used traditionally.
  • Fixed fees means price certainty, so you won't be footing any hidden costs at the end of the project.
  • With most meetings held over the phone, via video calls or email, online lawyers are much more flexible to work with.
  • You'll generally get a much quicker response from an online law firm that can connect you with a lawyer in just a couple of days.
  • Most online marketplaces let you browse lawyers and compare quotes so you can find the right person to suit your situation and budget.
  • Working with someone you've never met and building up trust can be tricky, especially if it involves creating a long-term relationship.
  • Traditional lawyers are considered to be much more effective at practicing law in court and settling more complex legal matters.
  • Some legal matters will require face-to-face meetings and paper handling, which can be hard when you use a virtual lawyer.
  • To maintain low costs, some online lawyer services will require you to do some of the admin yourself, while a traditional lawyer will normally take care of everything for you.
  • Online lawyers won't always be familiar with the specific local laws in your state or territory.

The best place to look for free legal advice in Australia is online. Legal aid commissions operates in every state and territory around the country offering assistance in criminal, family and civil law. Websites contain general guidance on legal issues, as well as information on how to contact the legal advice helpline and any grants you may be eligible for.

Click on the link below to see what's on offer in your state.

Another option is to visit 1 of the 200 community legal centres that are dotted around Australia or to head to your nearest public library that may have an in-house legal information access centre.

Bottom line

Using online legal services can be a quick and cost-effective solution to your legal problems, but it doesn't always suit everybody. Make sure you read up on the pros and cons of using online legal services to decide if they will better your situation or not before beginning the search for your online lawyer.

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