Legal advice can come in many forms. There are real lawyers you can go to, free online legal services, and even friends who are lawyers that you can seek advice from. With all different kinds of information out there, it can be difficult to decide who or where to go to.
Online free legal services such as Rocket Lawyer and The Legal Advocate give detailed information on any sort of legal field, and the best part is it’s free. Lawyers offer detailed, personal legal information, but on a pricey dime.
Depending on what you need, it can be hard to decide which route to go for. Free or not free? Online or in person? Houston car accident lawyer Hank Stout details how a lawyer can go a long way, much more than an online free legal website.
How Effective are Online Legal Websites?
Legal websites are available for anyone, even with those with access to lawyers. They offer many different features, such as tips, court cases, and even volunteer attorneys. The question is, though, is it effective? It remains true that online legal services are perfect for self-serving legal issues. For example, most of the solutions offered are for if you need to create your own legal documents. While online forms are a great place to start, official legal documents are better prepared by a real lawyer. A real lawyer can effectively guide you through the legal process, as well as establish a solid legal strategy, so you can focus on other things.
Another reason a real lawyer may prove more effective than a legal website is that lawyers know how to challenge evidence. If the legal advice you’re seeking out online has to do with evidence against you, a website cannot help you; only someone with proper legal training can. A lawyer can discern if a key piece of evidence was improperly obtained or if a testimony is contradictory to a prior statement. These are things a lawyer can find out for you.
Real Lawyers Know Local Laws
Local lawyers are a diamond in the rough, for many reasons. For starters, they know about local laws like the back of their hands, which will go farther in court than if you pick a lawyer out of town. Secondly, and as mentioned before, they have the one thing TV lawyers don’t: trust. With local lawyers, you can go visit that firm in person, and in person contact is vital to build trust. Speaking face to face will reaffirm to both parties how important this case is.
Here are other reasons you should hire a local lawyer:
1.) They Know Local Courts. Each local court has its own set of rules they abide by. Since attorneys have experience practicing law at these courts, the local attorney will know which court will better suit the client and their case. Local attorneys also have more knowledge on how and when the courts operate.
2.) They Have Connections. Lawyers are exponentially connected. From law school friends to conferences to events, they have a wide array of chances to network with other colleagues. They also have contacts with judges, police, prosecutors, witnesses, etc. Having a local lawyer as your lawyer will benefit you greatly since they have rapport in every aspect of the law. This will come in handy if and when your case goes to trial.
3.) Expenses Are Lower. This one isn’t as important as the others, but it’s no lie that legal costs are a pretty penny. If you hire a lawyer out of town, there are extra expenses you have to think about, such as travel, food, and tickets. With a local attorney, those expenses are already excluded since you hired a lawyer from the county you live in.
While online legal services are reputable sources of information, they don’t offer the same experience as working with a lawyer or a law firm. Online legal services state that they aren’t law firms and not a replacement for a real lawyer or attorney. If you do contact them, you’ll be speaking with a customer service representative rather than a case manager or a paralegal or a lawyer. Because of this, real lawyers are highly essential, beneficial, and necessary for your legal matters.
If however, you do not have the funds to seek out a lawyer, here is a list of free legal services you can seek out:
- TexasLawHelp.org, which helps low-income Texans with information on family law, protective order, and other legal forms.
- TexasLegalAnswers.org, a website created by The State Bar of Texas and the Texas Legal Services Center. This website offers civil legal advice from volunteer attorneys.
- Texas Lawyers for Texas Veterans, a project that helps low-income military veterans with legal issues.
- Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, which serves the Northwest area of Texas.
- Lone Star Legal Aid, which serves East Texas and the Houston area.
- Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, which serves South Texas, the El Paso area, and the Austin and San Antonio region.
- Texas Legal, which is a statewide legal benefit plan that meets the legal needs of Texans.
- TexasCourtHelp.org, which helps Texans find legal forms and information.