Regardless of how we answer this question, the do-it-yourself age is here to stay. So let’s embrace it! The problem is clear for all those of us not lucky enough to have “family lawyers.” The first time most people encounter legal needs is when they move out of their parent’s house. Young professionals or college students sign leases without reading them, then when a problem or dispute arises after a water pipe bursts, the landlord happily says “look at the lease, call a plumber.” If the issue continues to escalate, this (financially broke) young professional may find himself receiving a notice of eviction or in court facing a landlord with an attorney. Level playing field? Programs such as Access to Justice Initiative (ATJ) popped up to address this David and Goliath problem of people not dealing at arms length. Our poor economy just emerging from The Great Recession has limited funding for these programs. On the other hand, Generation Y (born between 1980-2000) is accustomed to solving all their problems online. Why? Well, first of all it’s just easier. It’s way too easy to buy a book using Amazon’s one-click payment than driving to a bookstore. This way of doing things was sure to eventually spill over into the legal arena sooner or later. In conclusion, access to justice is a real problems that can most easily be solved by do-it-yourselfers. The legal profession has been slow, if not all out resistant to this change. Speeding up this evolution is competition from online companies and consumer’s steadily moving away from the traditional legal status quo.
Robert Amborgi, Latest legal victory has LegalZoom poised for growth, ABA Journal, (Aug. 2014)