Friday, August 14, 2009

How Not to Obtain a Response on Free Legal Websites

Law Guru and AVVO are free legal sites where people can submit questions . Yesterday, a person requested a form for a non-profit corporation. He also stated that he believed being directed to the attorney's contact information was unethical and a waste of time. In other words, just give me the form and leave me alone.

Using that unwise poster as an example of what not to do, I give a few recommendations on how to submit posts. Of course, you don't have to follow them.

Recommendation #1 - Don't insult attorneys or the legal profession in your post.

Recommendation #2 - Understand that most attorneys won't e-mail forms for free. They have spend time and energy creating these forms for their practices.

Recommendation #3 - If you need extensive answers because you are representing yourself in litigation, AVVO and Law Guru are probably not the best sites to submit 20 questions. You should probably do your own research on the internet or in a law library.

Recommendation #4 - Based on prior answers from attorneys on AVVO and Law Guru, attorneys are happy to provide general information about your rights and remedies. So, provide sufficient detail about your matter.

Recommendation #5 - Don't be put off if the attorneys provide you with their contact information. Frequently, unless it's a small claims court matter, the best option is to schedule a telephone or face-to-face meeting with an attorney. Oftentimes, the initial consultations are free or low cost. Moreover, simply because you call or meet with an attorney doesn't mean you have to retain him or her.

Recommendation #6 - Most attorneys on these sites are solo or small firm attorneys. They are not in a non-profit company. As a result, they have to make a living. Therefore, be understanding if they give contact information.

In sum, realize that Law Guru and AVVO are sources to start your legal search or attorney search, but you shouldn't enter these sites as if you're going into battle. After all, the answers are provided without cost. Unless the attorney is a masochist, rude submissions will probably be ignored.

No comments: