DIY (do it yourself) Law?
You may be wondering should you try to tackle your own legal problem and when should you turn to an expert?
Pros & Cons
What are the pros of practicing DIY law? There are a few:
- If your legal matter is simple – and you don’t screw it up – you’ll spend less doing it yourself. For some people, this is the top (and only) consideration. On the flip side, if you try to handle a legal issue yourself and mess it up, it will probably cost more to hire a lawyer to untangle things than if you’d simply hired one at the outset.
- Do-it-yourself law can be quick. Want to draft a legal document on a Sunday night? Unless you have a very good relationship with a lawyer, you’ll probably have to wait a few days to make it happen.
What are the cons of practicing DIY law? Well, there are quite a few of those, too:
- There’s a much greater risk that you’ll screw something up. Lawyers attend at least three years of law school. And once they’re employed, there’s a lot of on-the-job learning. A lawyer is trained to spot potential problems and figure out how to avoid them. Lawyers have the benefit of experience. You may have what you think is a simple legal matter, but they know of a dozen reasons why it could be more complicated. So before doing it yourself, you need to evaluate the possible risks.
- As I mentioned in the list of pros, DIY law can be fast, but if something goes wrong, that time savings may go out the window. You also need to decide what your time is worth. Suppose you and your partner have an amicable split without a lot of assets; have agreed on arrangements for the children; and you want to do your own documents. You’ll still have to research family law property and or children issues laws, prepare documents in required form for filing at the Court, and more. Is it worth your time?
It really all ultimately boils down to one thing: Risk. When deciding whether to do it yourself, you need to ask yourself, “How much risk do I face? What are the consequences if I screw something up? What’s the worst that could happen?”
“Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation”