What are the best legal websites out there?

As the saying goes, “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing” and this creates something of a quandary when it comes to legal, medical and other vital aspects of life.

On the one hand, the internet has created a revolution whereby we can all access information about medical conditions, legal topics and other subjects which were hitherto only available in textbooks which were the preserve of the professions.

So, the internet is fundamentally a fantastic tool, it levels the playing field, it spreads knowledge and it saves money. Take the example of setting up a new business, perhaps a limited company. It is now perfectly possible to find all the information you need to do this without paying for legal advice. Many clients with legal problems will now approach a lawyer with a basic knowledge of the law which they need further advice on. Good lawyer in the 21st century therefore need to do more than simply tell a client what the law, they need to impart their knowledge and experience of dealing with similar situations.

The counter argument is that law, as with medicine is complex. A crash course of 5 minutes about “how to start a claim in the county court” does little to explain what actually happens, the tactics, the law, the nuances of such a situation, and this is where the problem can arise.

Applying the above to the available resources on the web, there are many law related sites which offer only the very basics of a topic, many others that are frankly written by lawyers to impress other lawyers, in –depth case reports are unlikely to be understood by a non-lawyer nor to apply to a given situation, so the best law related sites often strike a delicate balance between a plain English description of the topic or problem but with practical pointers and explaining that further advice may be needed to fully grasp the situation. As legal marketers, we analyse legal websites every day, so it may be useful for readers for is to highlight a few sites which impress us, and which we find strike a good balance in the way described above :-

Lawdonut – offers a range of practical legal tips, many in a top1 0 things you need to know style. The site is clever in that it has been set up by a marketing company and they have forged relationships with law firms who provide the content for the site, so you know when you read the content it comes from an experienced, fully qualified lawyer. The content is also. In all probability, edited by the experienced marketing team at Mydonut so as to be practical and understandable from the non-lawyer perspective.
Law on the web – a similar site to Law donut – though the content is perhaps not quite so practical it offers an amazing amount of content so is a very useful reference site
For any employment law issues, the ACAS site is a fantastic resource
For general legal guides, another superb site is the Adviceguide site which contains a wide array of content
For interactive legal documents for both business and personal use, such as for making wills or business contracts, Mylawyer legal is a very interesting site and again, in addition to allowing the creation of documents before agreeing to purchase, the site has a wide array of free legal guides.

The above list are our own choice for “go to “ legal resources and we hope they assist, but of course, we are not offering legal advice, just recommending some sites we find helpful !