Professional Legal Assistance for a Small Business Budget

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Rocket Lawyer, an online legal service launched in 2008, unveiled Legal Health Score today. The new free service grades businesses or individuals based on best practices for optimal legal protection to provide a score that can help gauge overall legal "health".

There are many situations where the expert insight and services of an attorney would be beneficial. However, most small businesses and families see retaining legal services as a luxury reserved for larger enterprises or independently wealthy individuals. Those with more limited budgets are more likely to either rely on computer-based legal software such as Quicken Legal Business Pro, or to simply wing it.

Legal issues are almost a fact of life, but lawyers are too expensive for most small businesses.
Graphic: Diego Aguirre
The Rocket Lawyer press release for Legal Health Score explains the service. "For example, if a person does not have a Last Will and Testament, or if a business owner does not have legal contracts in writing, the Legal Health Score will be low, and Rocket Lawyer will create a personalized legal plan with step by step guidance to improve the Legal Health Score. Combining the easy to understand Legal Health Score with simple guidance, interview-driven legal documents, a legal calendar, finishing tools and a nationwide attorney network, businesses and individuals now have a complete solution for managing the legal issues that everyone faces over a lifetime."

With the economy in a shambles for the past few years, few families or small businesses have the disposable income to invest in professional legal assistance. However, not having the appropriate legal documents completed can result in stress and unexpected costs when legal matters arise. A service like Rocket Lawyer enables small business owners to manage their legal matters simply and securely online.

"People will be amazed at how much they can do to keep themselves and their businesses legally healthy," said Jennifer Mazzon, Vice President of Product Management at Rocket Lawyer. "Rocket Lawyer helps people get it done in a way that's simple, fast and cost-effective. It is truly the best way for individuals and businesses to manage every aspect of their legal life, and connect with attorneys from the Rocket Lawyer community when they need additional advice and counsel."

In many ways, the actual interview process and the initial completion of legal documents online with Rocket Lawyer is not significantly different than completing those same forms using software such as the legal applications from Intuit. However, Rocket Lawyer has an important benefit that provides a distinct advantage--actual lawyers. Lots of them. Like, more than 100,000 attorneys spread across all 50 states.

Those lawyers come at a cost. The annual fee for Rocket Lawyer is $100 for a family, or $300 for a small business, compared with less than $50 to buy Quicken Legal Business Pro 2011 from Amazon. However, it is a drop in the bucket--the cost of one hour of a top attorney's time--when it comes to providing access to an army of actual lawyers who can review your documents and provide guidance.

"We're listening to our customers, and what we've heard is that legal services can be intimidating, confusing, and expensive," says Dan Nye, president and CEO of Rocket Lawyer. "We have an important mission to empower people to get the legal protection they need at a price they can afford. Rocket Lawyer's improved personal and business legal plans, including our Legal Health Score, are a big step forward."

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