Survey: 69 Percent of People Would Use Online Legal Services Over Attorneys

A new survey has found that many American adults are willing to use alternative legal providers as a way to save on legal costs.

Over 2,000 U.S. adults answered the online survey earlier this month. The survey was conducted by the Harris Poll at the request of Your Lawyers Online, an online legal service provider that guides clients through family, animal and estate planning law.

According to the findings, 82 percent of respondents said they wanted alternatives to traditional lawyers when dealing with small legal matters, such as making a will and document review. In addition, 76 percent of respondents aged 18 to 54 said they were willing to use online legal services if it could save them money. By contrast, only 65 percent of those aged 55-plus said they would consider using alternative legal services.

There was a similar discrepancy between groups with different incomes. Seventy-two percent of surveyed households with income below $100,000 said they would likely use online legal services, while only 62 percent of those with incomes above $100,000 said the same.

Likewise, though 55 percent of people in households earning less that $50,000 said an online lawyer could provide anonymity needed for a sensitive legal matter, less than half (47 percent) of households earning $100,000-plus agreed.

However, even higher earners found not all legal matters needed a lawyer, or perhaps their costly fees. Of surveyed households that earn over $100,000, 79 percent said they “wish” there was an alternative to traditional lawyers.

A legal trends report released earlier this year by Clio, a cloud-based legal service provider, found similar results. When Clio asked consumers what would influence them to not seek legal solutions for their problems, 35 said the benefits are not worth the money, and 31 percent said it cost too much.

The popularity of LegalZoom, a web-based legal service provider, gives some credence to such survey findings. Indeed, consumer-facing legal services are raising venture capital funding, including LegalZoom’s mammoth $500 million investment raised earlier this year.

The likes of LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer create legally enforceable documents for users for a comprehensive fee. Other services, however, help consumers solve their legal matters for no fee. Do Not Pay is one app, for example, that allows users to fight traffic court violations, claim class action settlement money, file a small claims court claim and other civil court actions for free, offering users different avenues and price points to solve legal matters.