LegalMatch is an online legal service that connects consumers and businesses with licensed local attorneys. You simply submit an online questionnaire describing your legal matter, and LegalMatch will share it with prescreened local attorneys who have the expertise to help you. After reviewing your legal matter, attorneys who are interested in representing you will email you a proposal (or call you if you prefer) containing information about their background, their fees, and past client ratings.
The LegalMatch service is completely free for businesses and consumers to use. The company makes money by charging attorneys a monthly fee for their ability to meet clients through the platform. The company was founded in 1999, and since then, over 3 million customers have used its services.
Lawyers are available in every area of law on LegalMatch. Business lawyers are available in the following practice areas:
When submitting a description of your case online, you can specify the level of experience you’re looking for from your lawyer, and you will be shown estimated rates. LegalMatch sends your case to the attorneys in the network who meet your requirements. After reviewing your case, interested attorneys will email you details of their experience and fees.
LegalMatch doesn’t charge consumers or businesses a fee for their matching service. They make money by charging attorneys for the opportunity to meet clients through the platform.
When they respond to your online questionnaire, lawyers will provide details about their fees, which will vary based on several factors:
When submitting your online legal questionnaire on LegalMatch, you’ll be asked to choose the level of experience that you would like your attorney to have. If you are dealing with a fairly straightforward legal issue (e.g. drafting a standard contract) or have a tight budget, you can choose to hear proposals from newly licensed attorneys having fewer than five years of experience. They will bill at relatively lower rates. Something more complicated may require a lawyer with more than 15 years of experience, and they will bill at a higher rate.
LegalMatch will show you an instant price estimate as you’re filling out the questionnaire. When lawyers email you (or call if you prefer) with proposals, you’ll get more specific details about their fees, including their rate, availability of a free initial consultation, availability of a contingent fee, accepted forms of payment, and expenses you’ll be responsible for (e.g. copying costs, court costs, etc.).
Finding a qualified attorney on your own can take a lot of time. Without a service like LegalMatch, unless you know a lawyer by word of mouth, you would have to spend hours researching lawyers online, making appointments with all of them, and looking up reviews before deciding who to hire.
With LegalMatch, you fill out their online questionnaire just once, and multiple lawyers will email you proposals (or call you if you choose). LegalMatch prescreens all the lawyers for you and provides ratings from past clients, so you can make an educated decision and be sure that all the attorneys on the platform are licensed and in good standing with the bar.
The other advantage of using LegalMatch is the satisfaction guarantee. If you hire a lawyer through LegalMatch but fall into a dispute with them, their customer service reps will first try to resolve the dispute. If that doesn’t work, they will refer you and the lawyer to voluntary arbitration, which is an out-of-court but binding dispute resolution process.
If the arbitrator decides in your favor, and the lawyer doesn’t pay you, LegalMatch will pay you up to $1,000. Granted, this may be much less than the amount of money at issue, but it shows that LegalMatch will stand behind the quality of their service.
Other than their lawyer matching service, LegalMatch also has a helpful legal center with an online law library, a legal dictionary, a legal forum, and tips of how to choose a lawyer. However, you can’t incorporate a business on the platform or access other legal services (e.g. document drafting, document review, intellectual property help, etc.).
Some of the lawyer proposals we received after submitting a test questionnaire were incomplete, or it appeared like the attorney hadn’t fully reviewed the case. For example, fee information was missing in one proposal, and other proposals weren’t customized for the legal matter. That made it seem as if the lawyer hadn’t really taken the time to review the case before replying. Although this wasn’t a great experience, you can simply choose not to hire a lawyer if they haven’t been rated well or if you’re not happy with their proposal.
U.S.-based customer phone support is available Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT. Alternatively, you can submit an email request on LegalMatch.com’s contact page.
LegalMatch is a A+ rated BBB-accredited businesses and gets very positive online reviews, some of the best among online legal services.
On the positive side, what people loved most about LegalMatch is how much time it saved them. Within just a few hours of submitting their case, most people received proposals from multiple attorneys and were able to hire one. Customers found LegalMatch to be much quicker than having to call multiple lawyers, make multiple appointments for consultations, and Google each attorney’s background before picking one.
On the negative side, some customers only received proposals from one or two attorneys, not giving them much to choose from. Others cautioned that you still have to Google the attorneys before picking one because the reviews on LegalMatch might not be representative of other online reviews. Lastly, some customers said that attorneys who responded initially by email were later unresponsive.
LegalMatch is a good option for business owners who want to be matched to a local lawyer without doing the legwork themselves.
For certain services, however, there may be better alternatives.
Here are some of the best alternatives to LegalMatch:
LegalMatch is a good choice when you have one legal problem and expect not to need a lawyer again for a fairly long time. But, sometimes you may find that legal questions keep popping up. In that case, you may be better off opting for a different legal service, something that sets you up for getting legal help “on call.”
LegalZoom is a great bet here. They have a business legal plan for $31.25 per month that includes access to the following:
While customers can use LegalMatch multiple times to get help with different cases, the better value is LegalZoom if you need pretty straightforward assistance on a regular basis.
For business owners who are looking to launch a new business, going through LegalMatch can be expensive. Lawyers often charge $500 to form an LLC and $1,000 to form a corporation. IncFile is a more cost-effective alternative.
On IncFile.com, you can form your LLC or corporation for $49.95 plus state filing fees. IncFile’s business formation specialists will draft the formation paperwork and file it with the state on your behalf. Included in the cost is a registered agent service for one year. A registered agent is someone who collects official mail on your business’s behalf.
The catch is that a lawyer isn’t representing you in the business formation process when you use IncFile—with LegalMatch, you have a lawyer to advise you throughout this process. But a typical business usually doesn’t need a lawyer to file formation documents.
One final alternative to LegalMatch that you should consider is Avvo. Avvo hosts the largest lawyer directory on the internet and is sort of like Google for lawyers. Over 97% of lawyers have an Avvo profile. You can search and filter through the directory by location, practice area, years of experience, and rating.
Avvo is a little different than LegalMatch because Avvo won’t identify lawyers who are a good fit for your business. It’s up to you to sort through the directory and make a choice. However, if you’re willing to invest some time searching, Avvo has thousands more attorneys than LegalMatch.
LegalMatch can help you find a great local business lawyer to help you with your legal matter. They make your search easy by prescreening lawyers and sending proposals right to your inbox, and you can choose which lawyer to hire based on their fee, experience, and ratings. LegalMatch can save you hours of time researching lawyers, so you can spend time doing what you love—running your business.
Priyanka Prakash is a senior contributing writer at Fundera.
Priyanka specializes in small business finance, credit, law, and insurance, helping businesses owners navigate complicated concepts and decisions. Since earning her law degree from the University of Washington, Priyanka has spent half a decade writing on small business financial and legal concerns. Prior to joining Fundera, Priyanka was managing editor at a small business resource site and in-house counsel at a Y Combinator tech startup.