LawDepot Review: Online Legal Services
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|Robust list of features is severely hindered by a complicated, glitchy interface|
LawDepot is an extremely confusing and difficult to use site that appears to offer more than it actually does.
First off, LawDepot is not very upfront about the cost of their products. You are forced to fill out all the questions about any of the products you want before they give you a price breakdown. This is especially frustrating for anyone who is doing comparison shopping.
After filling out several forms, we found that LawDepot's prices are very comparable to other do-it-yourself legal form sites such as US Legal Forms. For example, to create and download Articles of Incorporation forms is $25 to start, which includes 2 weeks of access to your documents. LawDepot also offers an upgraded tier of service, the Platinum package, that is $75 and includes a year of access to your documents as well as high priority for LawDepot's customer service.
LawDepot also offers a monthly subscription to their site (comparable to Rocket Laywer's subscription), for about $33/month, but you must start with a two month subscription. This subscription gets you unlimited access to all of their documents, which would be good for anyone looking for more than just one-time legal service help.
LawDepot's one redeeming quality is their list of features. They offer everything from Articles of Incorporation to power of attorney documents to US citizenship documents. Whether personal or professional, LawDepot covers a wide range of legal documents. The problem is that LawDepot doesn't always offer the things that are listed on their site. When testing the Divorce category, four of the first five states we clicked on weren't available on LawDepot. We found this to be the case with a few other sections as well.
While other do-it-yourself legal sites only offer forms you can download and fill out yourself, LawDepot actually walks you through a series of questions that help them prepare a personal document with the correct information for you to download and print. Once you've completed the form, all you have to do is file it with the correct government agency.
If you sign up for a subscription, LawDepot also offers you a profile page that lists the documents you are working on, a list of the upcoming items that are due and a Legal Protection rating that lets you know how you are progressing on the documents you need to file.
This is where LawDepot seems to run in to the most trouble. The home page and all the landing pages for the different sections they offer (Wills & Power of Attorney, Marriage & Cohabitation, Business & Human Resources, etc.) are actually clean and easy to understand, despite their use of legalese instead of common terms, especially in the business sections.
Once you dig a little deeper, the clean, consistent interface breaks down. Click on the Divorce section and it's as if you are on an entirely different site, with a different logo, top navigation and even functionality. About half of the sections are consistent with the home page, but these other display pages make for a confusing user experience.
Also confusing is the fact that some of their services allow for preparation and filing of your forms, although they do not tell you this anywhere. In the Incorporation section, you can have LawDepot file your Incorporation documents in Florida and Texas, but you have to file your own Articles of Incorporation document for any other state. While great for the people in Florida and Texas, this is never explained.
While finding the documents that you need can be tricky, the actual interface used to answer questions to personalize your document is easy and informative. Any complicated or confusing questions have explanations or examples after them in blue writing, designating them as helpful information. We had little problem figuring out which information was needed for each section thanks to this extra help.
The good news: LawDepot has a multitude of ways you can contact their customer service department. The bad news: none of those ways seem to be effective in getting you a quick and helpful answer.
First, we tried their customer service phone number (available Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. PT). While they attempt to connect you to a live person instead of a machine, the few times we called we were told that all their agents were busy and would call us back. That would be fine, if it didn't take a few hours for them to call us.
Then we tried the online chat function. All four times we tried the service, we were told all the agents were busy and to fill out a service ticket. So we filled out a service ticket, and the site said they would get back to us within two business days, which seemed like a long time for customer service to respond.
Needless to say, we didn't find their customer service very helpful, but they do have an entire page of FAQs that should answer a good majority of questions that you may have.
While many of the products and forms you might be looking for are featured on LawDepot, it can be an exercise in patience to both find and actually obtain those products and forms. Coupled with their lack of pricing details and less-than-stellar customer service, this makes it hard for us to recommend LawDepot.
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