Empower Yourself: The Benefits and Risks of DIY Legal Drafting Services

The Benefits and Risks of DIY Legal Drafting Services

DIY projects can be a great option for small home repairs or sprucing up your home’s interior. Some online-based services are now taking that approach to allow customers to fill in the blanks on legal forms and other court documents. While it may be tempting to try and save some money by foregoing the input of a professional attorney, going the do-it-yourself route for legal paperwork may not always be a good idea.

Online do-it-yourself services for legal documents have proliferated in recent years, promising a cheaper alternative to professional legal services. However, the rise in popularity of these services has notable downsides.

The Appeal of DIY Legal Drafting Services

On the surface, the cost-savings benefits of forgoing professional legal help are appealing. Attorneys charge $200 to $500 an hour to draft and file important court documents.

Drafting your own will, for example, may seem like a simple and straightforward process. Using an online template could theoretically save you several hundred dollars or more. Plus, you won’t have to spend time finding a lawyer and setting up meetings. As you can see, DIY services offer an appealing alternative to some of the most costly legal services.

Online DIY services have also streamlined the time it takes to complete legal documents. This is possible because these generic templates are largely completed already; users simply fill in missing information as the website guides users through the process. Theoretically, the final documents serve the same purpose as any document written by an attorney or paralegal, and the templates are easy to update whenever you need to.

Limitations of DIY Legal Services

Online DIY services

Anyone who needs to draft a legal document should weigh the benefits and costs of using a DIY service. Unfortunately, there are many limitations when it comes to pre-drafted templates.

Old or Out-of-Date Templates

For example, online templates may be out of date. With the passage of new laws and statutes, the format and language of legal documents must also change. Legal professionals keep up to date on these changes, but a DIY website may not.

Risk for Error

In addition, templates carry a substantial risk for user error. The instructions provided with the template may appear clear, but any misunderstanding of the instructions could lead to faulty information input that could void the document. Worse, you won’t be able to ask questions for clarification, as online forms do not auto-review your input for accuracy. Once you click print or submit, you may be unintentionally sending an inaccurate legal document.

These mistakes may not be noticed until it is too late. If you prepared a will, this could mean that your wishes are not fully honored after your death. The probate courts would then step in to divide your estate and pay beneficiaries. Errors can invalidate certain legal documents, meaning that your DIY efforts could end up being a waste of time.

Lack of Flexibility

Preset templates do not allow for flexibility. You will not have room to customize your legal form in most cases.

Missed Deadlines

Without any legal guidance, you could miss an important filing deadline. This could mean that your spouse or former spouse gains an upper hand in court. Even if you file on time, you may accidentally file the wrong type of form because DIY services do not review your case. This is one reason why having some connection with an attorney is critical.

In any court setting, filing errors are not exceptions, and there often are no do-overs. The documents you file will likely be the source of evidence that you can use in court, and any deviation from those filings could weaken your case. This is why family law attorneys are so meticulous when drafting, revising, and proofreading court documents. In the practice of law, every word is important.

Benefits of Working With a Legal Professional

Benefits of Working With a Legal Professional

Attorneys and their trained paralegals know the law, have updated resources to research it, and have practical knowledge of how the law is applied.

Legal professionals have additional skills that DIY platforms cannot replace.

  • Strategic Communication – Lawyers understand what to say and not say in conversations with the other party. This also applies to written documents that another party could read.
  • Risk Assessment – Lawyers are skilled at identifying what should be included in a contract. This can help with risk assessment by preventing future misunderstandings that could leave their client liable for their actions.
  • Objectivity – Legal documents should be written without bias or emotional language. Anyone who does not have experience with this type of language could inadvertently include emotionally charged language that weakens the effectiveness of the document.
  • Legal Qualifications – A boilerplate document may appear simple, but those forms do not change the fact that the practice of law is complex and constantly evolving. Legal professionals are trained in the type of language used in contracts, and topics like indemnity, confidentiality, arbitration, and force majeure do not simply become less complex because a template makes them appear to be.
  • Limitations of AI – If you are relying on AI to do your legal research as you fill out your DIY document, you could be adding inaccurate or out-of-date information. AI relies on the internet for information, and AI does not have the ability to independently assess the accuracy of its data.
  • Counsel – An attorney does more than defend clients’ rights; lawyers provide counsel by giving advice and answering questions.
    Although you, as the client, ultimately have the final say on legal matters, having access to a trusted legal advisor is one of the most important services that a lawyer or law firm provides.

If you do not incorporate professional legal assistance at some point in your document drafting, you are missing out on these important qualities that only a legal professional can deliver. One way to blend the cost-savings of DIY with the practical benefits of professional legal assistance is through a hybrid approach.

The Hybrid Approach: DIY with Professional Guidance

Skilled Arizona attorneys

The best legal drafting services provide professional drafting and guidance from lawyers. These companies combine the benefits of a skilled attorney with the convenience and price point of a DIY service. You’ll receive professionally drafted documents crafted with your unique case in mind without the need to spend thousands of dollars.

Documents drafted by Draft My Legal Docs are created by skilled Arizona attorneys who will help you draft, prepare, and file your legal documents. Our online service offers more than 50 legal document options, and our staff can help you navigate your family court case with ease. The benefits are personalized legal service at an affordable rate provided by legal professionals who care about your case.

The hybrid approach combines the cost-savings of DIY with the confidence that comes from working with a team of legal professionals who understand Arizona’s family law process. You will likely require multiple document filings for your family court case. Draft My Legal Docs works to make sure that every document you file is detailed and accurate. Our thorough review will ensure that the document conforms to state statutes and laws.

Areas of family law that are covered through Draft My Legal Docs’ services include:

  • Annulment
  • Same-sex divorce
  • Legal separation
  • Order enforcement
  • Property and debt division
  • Child custody
  • Child support enforcement
  • Postnuptial agreements
  • Prenuptial agreements

Should I Just Hire an Attorney?

Hiring an attorney to represent you in court offers many benefits, but not everyone can afford an attorney throughout the court process. Some divorce and child custody cases require multiple hearings that can go on for months if not years. Even when a parent can afford an attorney early on, having dedicated legal counsel can become unaffordable months into the court process.

Draft My Legal Docs has a team of attorneys who will guide you through the court process, but they are not bound to represent you in court. This legal service allows customers to have many of the benefits of legal assistance without the high cost of paying an attorney $300 to $500 an hour to show to court.

Even when there is no active litigation, having an attorney review documents can help you catch mistakes that may cause complications or delays later on. Many Arizona parents have chosen this hybrid approach to navigate the family court process.

Which Option Is Right For Me?

If you are going through a divorce, child custody battle, or another family court case, you have the option of using DIY drafting services that do not provide attorney reviews and guidance. These services have the benefit of being affordable and relatively easy to use.

Unfortunately, an online template cannot guide you through the court process. DIY legal document drafting programs do not always keep their templates up to date, meaning you could be using an outdated form that could cause legal problems. When it comes to family court cases, one error can have disastrous ramifications for your personal life. You could lose important financial assets or access to your children.

Another option is to hire an attorney to handle your legal affairs for you. However, this option is simply not affordable for many people. Attorneys charge hundreds of dollars an hour for full representation. With this option, you may also experience additional time in court.

Meanwhile, services like Draft My Legal Docs provide clients with access to legal guidance at a fraction of the cost of hiring an attorney. Along with the cost savings, there is peace of mind that comes from knowing that an Arizona attorney who understands the state’s family court laws will review every document to ensure that it is admissible in court and serves your needs and goals.

Learn More About How Draft My Legal Docs Can Help You in Court

Review every document to ensure that it is admissible in court

If you rely on DIY websites to provide blank templates for your legal filings, you are taking a significant risk that may not be worth the benefits. While those online services offer convenience, you will not have access to an actual attorney when you need answers to basic questions.

Draft My Legal Docs offers a hybrid option that combines the cost savings of DIY templates with the benefits of hiring attorneys. You won’t have to pay hundreds of dollars an hour for Draft My Legal Docs, but you will be able to trust that an attorney will review your documents and provide recommendations on which forms you may need to fill out for future court hearings. With so much on the line, those extra services can help you navigate the family court system with confidence.

To learn more about how Draft My Legal Docs can serve you, schedule a consultation today.


  1. Average Attorney Fees by State [Updated September 2022]. (n.d.). Worldpopulationreview.com. https://worldpopulationreview.com/state-rankings/average-attorney-fees-by-state

Author: Jonathan Roeder

Jonathan Roeder is one of the founding partners of The Valley Law Group. He is an Arizona native who has dedicated his life and career to the service of others. After graduating salutatorian of his high school class, Jonathan attended beautiful and prestigious Pepperdine University, where he majored in Political Science. During his tenure at Pepperdine University, his passion for helping others grew after securing a clinical position with a residential treatment center for juveniles with substance addictions. Post-graduation, Jonathan returned to Arizona and served as a residential manager for mentally and physically disabled homes.

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