One complaint about LegalZoom is that its legal documents are too simplistic, notes Consumer Reports. Another complaint is that it may be engaged in the unauthorized practice of law, according to the American Bar Association.
LegalZoom can help its users draft a will or create a lease, but these documents either do not meet the users' specific needs or leave out important information, according to Consumer Reports. The organization used LegalZoom to create typical legal documents such as a will, a car bill of sale and a home lease for a small landlord, and it asked law professors to evaluate the results. The professors were not impressed with LegalZoom's will, as the service allows the user to write anything in the special-directives section. Entering information in that section could unknowingly lead the user to contradict other parts of the will.
Another problem with LegalZoom documents, as stated by Consumer Reports, is that they are not always tailored to the user's jurisdiction. The lease that LegalZoom created advised parties to take any grievances to a county office that doesn't exist. It's best to consult a lawyer for most transactions, concluded Consumer Reports.
A further complaint is that LegalZoom is not only providing legal forms to the public, it is giving legal advice and thus violating laws that prohibit unauthorized practice, as stated by the American Bar Association. There have been several lawsuits against Internet legal service providers, including LegalZoom, alleging that they engage in unauthorized practice. In Janson v. LegalZoom.com, 271 F.R.D. 506 (WD Mo. 2010), a Missouri federal court addressed this issue and found that LegalZoom did engage in the unauthorized practice of law when it reviewed documents for quality purposes and provided email and telephone assistance from non-lawyers.