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By Kim Plonsky
As reviewed in the November/December 2005 issue.
If you think as a legal professional you have no use for online legal forms and that they primarily are targeted to the do-it-yourself lawyer, then you have not yet explored USlegalforms.com. Before this review, I assumed that a legal forms Web site had nothing whatsoever to offer a lawyer or paralegal. Imagine my rather pleasant surprise to discover that I have been overlooking a wealth of tools, information and valuable legal resources — all just an Internet connection and a few mouse clicks away.
USlegalforms.com not only provides access to a broad spectrum of legal forms (more than 36,000) for all 50 states and the District of Columbia, it also can serve as a starting point for locating free online legal resources, such as links to federal government agencies. In addition, the Web site offers a comprehensive online legal dictionary and online law digests in many areas, focusing on the most popular topics such as landlord-tenant and premarital agreements.
USlegalforms.com is partnered with BlumbergExcelsior, whose products, such as corporate kits, can be ordered online directly from the site. Beautiful, fully completed or blank lithographed and imprinted stock certificates — including certificates for limited liability companies, which are hard to find — can be ordered easily and sent to you in the mail. Completed certificates contain the entity name, number of shares, name of shareholder, number of authorized shares and par value. The site thoughtfully (and thankfully) offers a free Microsoft Word template download for completing blank certificates.
Legallife Guides and Handbooks provide valuable information on real estate, landlord-tenant, elder and retirement law, employment law, patent and trademark law, pet law, wills, bankruptcy, expungement law and driving hardship licenses — all customized by state.
Forms can be downloaded in Word and Rich Text Format or delivered by regular mail. Alternate formats such as HTML and Portable Document Format are available on request. E-mailed notifications of purchases permit members to monitor and quickly detect unauthorized purchases. The cost of forms is generally nominal, averaging about $20 each, with many as low as $5 to $12. Additionally, USlegalforms.com now offers annual subscriptions (FormPass) by category (bankruptcy, landlord-tenant, etc.), which allows unlimited access to all forms in the subscribed category — potentially resulting in hundreds of dollars in savings, depending on frequency of use.
As an added convenience, free registration as a member of USlegalforms.com is offered (but not required). Becoming a member allows you to enter payment information only once and thereafter use a username and password combination to quickly download forms.
Because legal professionals who work for large firms usually have a wide breadth of banked forms and research, not to mention extensive law libraries, USlegalforms.com is perhaps better suited to the solo attorney, small-firm practitioner or ambitious paralegal. Notwithstanding that, in many practices, lawyers are called on to handle out-of-the-ordinary and sometimes obscure legal matters for existing clients. When lawyers are obliged to practice out of their chosen areas of specialty, USlegalforms.com can be invaluable and a precious timesaver.
Another useful and typical example of what USlegalforms.com has to offer is its Divorce Information and Worksheet package, which consists of 35 pages and includes definitions of terms commonly used in domestic disputes and one of the most comprehensive client questionnaires on the subject that I have ever seen. It also has guidelines for handling child-custody issues.
A key advantage of using USlegalforms.com is the ability to preview samples of most forms before downloading to make sure what you are getting is what you really need. And there is a 100 percent money-back guarantee if a customer isn’t satisfied with the product for any reason.
USlegalforms.com has compiled quite a databank since incorporating in 1999. The company employs a full-time staff of attorneys who are licensed in various states and who draft and revise its forms, law summaries, handbooks and guides, with the assistance of support staff — yep, paralegals.
Overall, I was impressed at the depth and quality of USlegalforms.com’s services. I have bookmarked the site in my Web browser.
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