This site has articles on three important areas you should consider when using legal forms: how to find legal forms (including those elusive free ones), how to draft a contract, and tips on working with attorneys without breaking the bank.
These topics are covered in more detail in our Free Email Mini Course, which you can subscribe to at the top right of this site.
Also, for a useful companion to using legal forms you can purchase our book How to Use Legal Forms. This book covers:
- Legal Forms, and Where to Find Them
- How Legal Forms Work
- Working With an Attorney
The idea of just downloading legal forms and revising them yourself is a potentially dangerous one which could cost you legal fees rather than saving them. The topics covered in the book will make you an educated user of legal forms. Below is a synopsis of the book.
Section One: Legal Forms, and Where to Find Them
Legal forms are generic documents that can be used as templates for legally binding contracts and administrative filings.
They can be used to facilitate the process of working with an attorney, but it is not advisable to consider them as a replacement for legal advice.
Legal forms have limitations, particularly those provided for free, and these should be taken into account when using them.
There are thousands of legal forms available to support most legal processes, so there is no need to reinvent the wheel by starting contracts from scratch.
Free legal firms are handy, but difficult to find, and many “free” sites are set up to lead you to paid sites. Section One of How to Use Legal Forms delivers tips on how to effectively search for free forms.
Paid for legal forms, and legal forms software can be valuable time-saving resources.
Section Two: How Legal Forms Work
A legal form involves a specific form or legal writing known as drafting. Drafting looks forward to what might happen, and how to define the steps for managing these possible future outcomes.
The specialized vocabulary of the legal profession means that you may not be able to understand the meaning of a legal form without the support of an attorney, and that you will need to understand legal English to make any revisions to a legal form.
There are some common legal terms you will come across in legal forms. These legal terms of art, or words of art, have meanings that are strictly defined by law.
Legal forms should be written within style guidelines: they should be clear and accurate, and concise.
A lack of precision in a legal document is not always a bad thing, and deliberate use of vagueness can be a valuable tool. Whilst vagueness is a manageable feature of legal documents, one thing to be avoided is ambiguity. The distinction between the two is that ambiguity arises where a provision can have more than one meaning. This is more troublesome than a vague provision that is simply imprecise.
The substance of a legal document is its content, and put simply the law might not allow certain terms in a contract, and if they are included they may later be exposed as invalid and unenforceable. Working with an attorney is the best way to ensure the substance of your document reflects your needs.
A contract is made up of a front, body and back, and looking at the way it is structured is a good way to understand the way legal forms are structured. A contract style is one of the most commonly used legal forms.
Section Three: Working With an Attorney
When you have a need to undertake legal work, one of the best combinations is to be an educated client who completes the first draft of the legal form, and then work with an attorney who does not object to you providing the first draft of the legal document.
It is important to realize that there are many different types of attorneys and not all are equally well qualified to support your needs. Make sure your lawyer has handled cases like yours previously, and ask for client references.
There is no shortage of attorneys advertising their services, but knowing how to select the one that is right for your case is a skill that is outlined in Section Three of How to Use Legal Forms.
Attorneys are becoming increasingly adept at marketing and advertising their services, from the yellow pages through to blogging, podcasting, Twittering, and even Facebooking! The important thing to remember is that the attorney with the best marketing is the best marketer, not necessarily the best attorney.
The law has many areas of specialization, and even within each practice area there are sub-specializations. For example, in criminal law you would not want a white collar crime defense attorney representing you at a murder trial. You need to talk over your attorney’s past experience at the initial meeting.
The key to selecting the right attorney is not to be afraid of asking questions. A good attorney will be happy to see that you are a conscientious client who has put time into thinking about the criteria to use to select an attorney, and will be happy to answer your questions.
People often feel reticent about discussing fees with a professional such as an attorney, but is something that you should not be shy about, and should discuss up front. It is important that you understand the way attorneys bill their services.
Your main right as a client is to quality, ethical representation. Reciprocal trust, courtesy and respect are the hallmarks of a successful attorney-client relationship.
One of the benefits of using standardized legal forms is that they minimize the scope for drafting errors, however, mistakes will still arise and you should work with your attorney to eliminate the most common ones.
Legal documents forms are useless in isolation. You need to have an understanding of the issues that they address. Your attorney must understand not just the law, but also your business.
To purchase How to Use Legal Forms click here.
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