As a small-business owner, dealing with attorneys means one thing: Spending a lot of money. I’ll never forget the lawyer I met with who charged $999 an hour. I wish I made that!
There’s a lot you need a real-life lawyer for, but there’s a lot you can do on your own with AI before opening your wallet.
I have to say it: This is not legal advice. I’m not an attorney. The AI sites will say the same, btw. Think of this as education and help before you get in front of a (human) lawyer.
Online legal help is nothing new
Sites that automate legal processes — like incorporating a business or trademarking something — have been around since the ’90s. What’s new? AI makes it even easier to use these services and adds new features.
- Rocket Lawyer has Rocket Copilot. It’ll ask questions to help you choose your legal business name, incorporate it and protect it. Neat.
- LegalZoom has Doc Assist. Upload a contract and it’ll summarize it for you in plain speak. They suggest you follow up with an attorney with questions or concerns.
Be sure to keep track of prices. It may be cheaper and better to go to a real breathing attorney.
Use it in your business or work life
- Summarize this: Upload a contract or copy and paste a confusing paragraph. “Explain this to me in plain English.”
- Spot the difference: I do this! You have a contract, and then a vendor or client sends a new one with changes. Upload the two to AI and ask it to tell you everything different between them.
- Find a starting place: Say you make pottery and want to start an LLC to sell your wares. AI can guide you down the path to find all the correct forms and information before you reach out to a lawyer who charges by the minute.
- Add some gravity: Perfect for a situation where a strongly worded email will get the job done. Maybe a client refuses to pay you. Try this: “You’re an employment attorney. Look at this contract and help me draft an email requesting overdue payment.”
Remember what you actually pay with
Most AI tools have a “free” version. But free ain’t free. You’re paying with your data! Look at the terms and conditions on any of these sites, and you’ll find the same message: Documents you upload, info you type in and anything else can be used to train their algorithms.
I strongly recommend redacting names, addresses, legal identification numbers and anything else you don’t want another entity to see.
🤗 You know that lawyer I was telling you about who charged me $999 per hour? After winning that case, he told me he would represent me for free for life, stating, “You are such a nice person; no one should ever get away with wronging you.” And he has kept his promise.