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This article has been written by Oishika Banerji, an undergraduate student at Amity Law School, Kolkata. This is an article that deals with the best websites which can offer free legal advice if asked for.

Table of Contents

Introduction 

Traditionally speaking, legal advice has always been associated with the dialogue between the lawyer in his or her chamber and the client. Generally, whenever there is a scenario of delivering legal advice, it is always that both the lawyer and his or her client will be in physical presence for each other. But as the world is fast-changing and the introduction of digitalization has set everything on the track of development and evolution, so is the case with legal advice. Technology has helped people to get in touch with the lawyer he or she is willing to connect with or feel correct to approach within a few seconds through the medium of websites that have indeed helped and is helping people all around the globe. Life has become simpler and easier because of the same. When sitting at home can fetch someone with legal advice without wracking his or her brain in search of the same physically, then nothing can get better than that. Further another step towards betterment is that several websites offering legal advice are doing the same without any fees or charges. 

Hence free legal advice is a welcoming step that was brought in by technological development and digitalization connecting the entire world in one. But with digitalization comes a lot of hurdles. Privacy is a major concern in this world as everything is visible on the public platform in a few seconds. Similarly, when one proceeds with asking for legal advice by the help of any website, a lot of personal data is obtained by the website itself which it can use in any other reference without letting the person know about the same. Cybercrime specifically cyber hacking has become a major concern for the people nowadays. Therefore it is always the responsibility on the part of the client to be aware as to what and where they are asking for. While the other side of the coin is that websites should be such on which people can rely on to share their information so as to be provided with the advice they are seeking for. 

The factors necessary to be considered while searching a website for legal advice 

Therefore to ask for free legal advice websites which should be preferred must be following and agreeing to the following parameters:

  1. Brand Value: The website should be well recognized and familiar to people so as to be trustworthy by nature. Also the kind of lawyers it will help one to connect with should be of good quality and the standard by nature. 
  2. Easy to access: The procedure to ask for legal advice on any website offering the same must be simple and easy. This initiates clients to prefer that website for the essence of the entire process of providing legal advice virtually, making the procedure easy for clients seeking the same.
  3. Effective: The effectiveness of the platform that connects clients with lawyers for advice virtually should be taken into concern as well. The aim of websites providing legal advice is the welfare of the clients seeking advice which should be effectively carried out. 

Taking into consideration these three parameters, let us take a look as to what are the best websites that offer legal advice to its clients free of cost. Based on these parameters the list of websites that rank the best for delivering free legal advice are provided below.

The best websites to ask for free legal advice

There are a lot of websites which offer free legal advice. The very word free attracts people towards those websites which in turn can be detrimental for the person himself as has been mentioned previously. The list of preferable website for legal advice is provided hereunder: 

Avvo

Avvo is a well-known online platform providing legal services for free to its users. The unique procedure that Avvo relies upon is content marketing which is a simplified means providing solutions in an easy manner to any legal issue free of costs. This indeed draws clients and therefore this website has gained recognition compared to other websites providing legal advice for free. Avvo provides its users with the original value of the service for free in order to make sure that the customers can access free legal advice when they are not having enough cash at hand.

The American Bar Association honoured Avvo for the unique style of delivering service in the year 2015. Along with providing free legal services, Avvo also organizes campaigns, webinars in order to reach out to masses to increase the awareness about access to free legal advice and the steps to be acquired in reaching out to the same. A well-designed website, Avvo provides a variety of information which includes location, lawyer reviews, practising records to its users so that it becomes easier and simpler to get in touch with a lawyer according to their needs and requirements. They are basically a database processing information and delivering the same ultimately focusing on client satisfaction. Avvo connects its users to lawyers they are in need of by a phone call for about 15 minutes which can include a fee as charged by the lawyer. This at times is the negative element that crawls in this free legal advice website which a lot of users might not prefer or appreciate. But the website as a whole being organized by nature and providing necessary and standardized information is what people generally look for from a  website providing legal advice. Therefore, Avvo amounts to be one of the frequently used and trusted websites to provide legal advice to its users without many hurdles.

Quora 

Quora is a connective platform to get in touch with all kinds of advice and answers to queries from different fields. Experts and professionals all provide their answers and solutions to the questions that are asked or inquired about. Quora is absolutely free to access and to connect with. The advice that is provided is standardized and helpful according to the reviews that Quora has been receiving for years now. Quora is a platform that provides opportunities to share knowledge for the advisors and professionals and gain knowledge by the users or the clients in need. It can also provide information about others that can provide free legal aid. The one issue that comes along with Quora is that the time frame between the posting of questions and getting answers or being advised cannot be measured. Often questions or issues which are posted fail to get a solution or advise. This is a negative element associated with this website. 

LawRato.com 

A website that believes in delivering the right information, LawRato.com is inclusive of experts from fields of intellectual property, property disputes, family issues, corporate law, criminal issues. Thus various fields are covered under this website in order to reach out to a number of clients globally. Logging in LawRato.com helps the client to come in reference with an efficient lawyer who can indeed provide advice that will prove to be fruitful by nature. As the Times of India reported, LawRato.com has attained over 1 lakh legal issues which were handled by over 50,000 lawyers all across the globe. It was during an interview with the founder of this website, Rohan Mahajan who himself being a legal practitioner revealed that the entire judicial process in a country like India is slow and less organized. This kind of system, therefore, calls for a digitized platform that can handle and manage several cases thereby providing a speedy way of remedying injustice. Further, free legal aid from this website is also provided specifically to female victims of offences that are violent in nature. Therefore, a startup which proved out to be a success story with the basic aim of providing justice to common citizens, LawRato.com has been one of the recognized, highly preferred websites providing legal advice. 

Reddit 

A similar kind of website like Quora is Reddit. This is a website that works on anonymity which in simpler terms refers to providing services on a personalised basis or rather on a one to one basis. This helps in maintaining privacy as well. Thus a secured platform to be precise, Reddit works to provide several services along with legal advice to clients in a simpler and easier way. 

Rocket Lawyer 

Rocket lawyer is good for providing information rather than direct legal advice and the information that is provided is free of cost. At times in legal advice, the requirement of information is also necessary rather than just advice therefore for such cases, websites like Rocket Lawyer are helpful for clients. 

A website can be categorized as the best according to the service they provide and the efficiency with which it works. Therefore the websites which have been provided above have been selected on the basis of their work quality and the way they provide services. The list of websites providing free legal services is endless because of technological developments and less time in the hands of the people. To be best, the websites have to be best in providing services to the clients as well. 

                   

Are free websites better than physically approaching a lawyer for advice?

A lot of people live in a dilemma about what to go for, virtual advice or physical advice in the presence of both the client and the lawyer. But practically, websites advising legal aid are much more advanced compared to traditional legal advice. The ways in which free websites are better than physically approaching a lawyer for advice have been provided below:

  1. Economically friendly: As the websites providing legal advice are free, people are preferring them over physically approaching lawyers for advice. It is true that lawyers charge a high amount depending upon the case and their clients. Not everyone can afford a lawyer to fight their cases but at the end of the day, everyone is supposed to be provided with justice. Hence an economically friendly approach is referring to websites which can indeed provide legal advice that will be client-friendly as well.
  2. Time-saving: As the world is fast-changing, time has become a rare element in everybody’s life. People prefer saving time as much as they can. Getting legal advice at websites is much more time consuming than physically reaching out to the lawyers for advice. Therefore websites are a better source of consuming time rather than physically approaching lawyers. 
  3. Easy to search: Websites help clients to get in touch with the lawyer easily without many hurdles. Physically reaching out to clients is difficult and delay leads to delay in remedying justice. Therefore websites are preferred more than physically approaching lawyers. 

Although websites offer much better service compared to a physical approach to a lawyer, we must not forget the side effects associated with it. Traditionally clients have been approaching their lawyers all by themselves and the lawyers have been helping them get justice. Although technology has brought in a lot of developments, every new thing has a disadvantageous side. It’s better if one focuses on the pros rather than on the cons and knows the way to utilize the same. 

Conclusion 

Websites for legal advice are gradually making space in our daily lives. A new way of providing legal services is through the means of websites. Some websites have already received recognition while some are on their way to make the same. A debate on whether a physical approach is better than virtual advice cannot be raised for one cannot replace the other but can work interdependently for better delivery of justice within a minimal time frame. It is always believed that technology can be considered to be relevant till the time it promotes efficiency, transparency and objectivity in public governance which in turn is necessary to establish the concept of rule of law in a nation. Thus websites working towards providing free legal aid are ultimately working with the goal to provide wider access to justice to common citizens. 

References


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