The marketplace is ripe with new entrepreneurs and startups. While this is great for our economy, it brings a new set of legal challenges and questions. Technology has reshaped legal practice and given rise to the threat of lawyers losing their roles to automated machines that can generate templates.
New businesses tend to not prioritize legal matters (no one wants to pay someone to tell them “no” when they are a growth-oriented culture of “yes”). Most feel that lawyers are prohibitively expensive and that legal templates can be downloaded for free from the internet.
Many legal startups fail due to legal reasons, many of which, were avoidable. Simply downloading a template off of the internet without sound analysis from legal counsel means you are incurring a lot of risks. Legal counsel means legal fees; but the cost of having to appear in court costs so much more. Here, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
The legal marketplace has observed a rise of companies that are leveraging technology to create legal documents for multiple types of situations. Innovative individuals have made this their core business, leveraging on the savings their clients could enjoy with their new product. For businesses with limited budgets, this is an enticing way to make have some legal protection without spending too much money. Traditionally, the legal landscape was one of face-to-face consultations, part of the reason why legal services were so expensive. Technology has changed this.
The mindset of a startup owners is different from the mindset of an attorney resolving legal needs. Legal protection is important for businesses, but it is not always as simple as using a program that generates a draft of a legal document and hoping or assuming that it is the right type of document for your business. The law changes. Different business decisions, factual contexts, and goals will give rise to latent and patent legal issues.
Although technology helps to alleviate some of the basic work done by lawyers, only qualified lawyers are capable of giving legal advice make sense of the legal documents. Legal documents must be made suitable for each particular situation or business. You don’t want to assume an understanding of how the law works (it’s complicated) and negotiate away rights or remedies as a result.