Virtual Law Offices, Virtual Lawyers & eLawyering: Press and Social Media Coverage
American Bar Association Journal, September, 2009, Legal Rebel's Project, Profile: Richard S. Granat September, 2009. "Granat is absolutely beyond cutting edge." Susan Erlichman, Executive Director, Maryland Legal Services Corporation
One of the biggest drawbacks to an online will is that a professional hasn't reviewed the documents, says Granat. If that worries you, hire an attorney to review what you have done online. He should be current on any new laws in your state.
However, a law could have changed without the online site updating its information. It's also possible that the online form you choose may not be the right one for your situation.
"You are buying something without a warranty, as is," says Granat. "If there's something wrong with it, even with one small mistake, you're taking a risk. But if a lawyer drafts the will, he stands behind his documents."
The Good Enough Revolution: When Cheap and Simple is Just Fine, by Robert Capps, WIRED Magazine, September 2009.
"Richard Granat is a pioneer in a field called elawyering. It shouldn't be confused with Web sites that merely offer legal documents for downloading, Granat explains. Elawyering involves actual lawyers, and clients who use these services get help sorting through legal issues.
Granat, who runs his own law firm and co-chairs the American Bar Association's task force on elawyering, has designed and marketed a number of Web tools that walk people through common legal procedures. He created a child-support calculator, for example, which assists couples going through relatively amicable divorces. There's also a tool to help people decide whether they need Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy. These widgets then generate legal forms, which may be reviewed by a licensed attorney who can make suggestions or offer advice over the phone.
It turns out to be a remarkably efficient way of offering what Granat calls legal transaction services—tasks that are document intensive. For everything from wills to adoptions to shareholder agreements, elawyering has numerous advantages. It's cheaper, for example; a no-fault divorce, Granat says, might run a fifth of what seeing an attorney would cost. It's also faster—customers can access the tools anytime and never have to interrupt their day to meet with someone in a distant office. Simply put, elawyering makes certain legal services more accessible."
Practicing in the Virtual Realm: A Framework for Delivering Legal Services Online, Richard S. Granat and Marc Laurtisen, Law Practice Today, American Bar Association, November, 2010.
Law Firm Web Sites That Work -- Richard Granat, American Bar Association Journal, April 2009.
eLawyering: Providing More Efficient Legal Services With Today's Technology, Richard S. Granat, New York State Bar Association Journal, September, 2008.
The Many Faces of e-Lawyering: Everyday Law For Everyday People -- Richard S. Granat, Law Practice Magazine, January/February 2004
Richard Granat Receives American Bar Association's Louis M. Brown Lifetime
Achievement Award for Legal Access. Delivers Statement on Ethics, Innovation and
the Future of Legal Services for Consumers Before the American Bar Association
Commission on Ethics 20/20, February 5, 2010.
Statement Before Ethics Commission: Online Legal Services: The Future of the Legal Profession, February 5, 2010