LegalZoom is primarily an online expert system and document assembly platform for consumers. In the mid-2010s, LegalZoom began working with lawyers as well, offering customers the option to consult with a lawyer about their documents.
Until 2015, LegalZoom was ensnared in a number of ethical disputes with state bar associations over whether it was engaged in the unauthorized practice of law. The disputes finally came to an end when LegalZoom entered into a consent judgment in North Carolina, which was later codified by the North Carolina legislature.
For most of its existence LegalZoom has been a sort of bogeyman for the legal industry, coming up in nearly every discussion of access to justice, client service, limited-scope representation, regulatory reform (on which LegalZoom has significant influence), or the future of law in general. As of this writing, in 2021, LegalZoom is probably not a bogeyman any longer, but it continues to influence the industry when it comes to those issues.
Published on January 17th, 2021. Last updated on May 20th, 2021, by Sam Glover.