Rocket Lawyer is one of several legal-services firms providing advice and documents online. The San Francisco-based company offers help with estate planning and numerous other legal issues.
- Pricing is $39.95 to $49.95 a month or $399.95 to $499.95 annually, depending on package
- Everybody gets unlimited document revisions and copies
- Free 30-minute phone consult with an attorney on every new legal matter (all packages)
- Hire a lawyer for $125 an hour or 40% off their standard rate, whichever is greater
Rocket Lawyer is best for:
- Hands-on people who like to dig in a little or do some of the lifting
- People OK with getting answers from a lawyer via email or phone
- Those looking to minimize attorney fees
- People who want a way to get quick answers to short questions
- Small-business owners who want help setting up their company
Rocket Lawyer at a glance
|Premium membership||$39.95 a month or $399.95 a year|
|Accelerate membership||$49.95 a month or $499.95 a year|
|One-time purchases||You can buy legal documents individually without a membership. Prices vary (typically $20 to $100).|
|Discount on legal fees||You pay 40% off attorney’s regular rate or $125 an hour, whichever is higher.|
|Free trial||You can sign up for a seven-day free trial. If it’s not for you, cancel in time or you may be charged for a membership.|
|Document storage||Cloud-based. Members can download in Word, PDF, RTF and text formats. If you’re on a free trial, you can download as a PDF.|
|Help with disputes||The company’s Document Defense feature (included with membership) lets you review a situation with an attorney and have one respond on your behalf. Non-members can purchase for $10.|
Where Rocket Lawyer shines
Ease of use and organization
Rocket Lawyer’s website is straightforward and simple to navigate. You can find essential documents easily, see articles about estate planning or other topics and access easy-to-use lawyer listings in the Rocket Lawyer network by state.
The company’s document library contains hundreds of legal forms and documents, and you can fill out and edit an unlimited number of them. People planning an estate can get a living will or one of five different powers of attorney, make a will, create a variety of trusts and do a few other tasks, too. (See what’s in its library.)
Rocket Lawyer uses a question-and-answer format to help you fill out your legal documents. The site also offers electronic signature capabilities and is mobile-friendly. There’s also an app.
Lots of ways to get help
Rocket Lawyer offers multiple support options to help people who just need quick answers as well as those with more complex situations, including:
- Online chat (free)
- Email a question for free
- Toll-free customer service (Monday-Friday, 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Pacific)
- FAQ pages on a variety of topics
- On-call attorneys (free)
- Hire an attorney
If you’re a member and you have a question, you can ask it on the site or send an email. Or you can get in touch with an on-call attorney in the appropriate legal field for a free 30-minute consultation. Members get one free consultation per new legal matter. That consult can include reviewing legal documents, according to Rocket Lawyer.
For more complex issues that will take longer than half an hour to discuss, you can keep working with your on-call attorney at a discounted rate.
Rocket Lawyer maintains a network of lawyers across the country who practice in a variety of legal fields, which is important for ensuring that you’re working with a pro versed in your state’s laws. Attorneys’ profiles show what services they provide and what their standard fees are.
If you want to hire an attorney, Rocket Lawyer’s discounted program gets you either 40% off or $125 an hour, whichever is higher. That can save a ton of money — and quickly. For example, a lawyer who typically charges $375 an hour will be $225 an hour for Rocket Lawyer members. The $150 savings per hour means you could recoup the cost of a $500 Accelerated annual membership in a little over three billable hours.
Where Rocket Lawyer falls short
Though Rocket Lawyer offers guidance about what documents you might need in a variety of categories and situations, there’s no real way to be sure you haven’t overlooked or forgotten one. You could use one of your free 30-minute consultations for document review, however. Also, you may be able to get some documents for free directly from local or federal authorities if you know where to look.
Online question limits
You can ask the on-call attorneys anything online — as long as you do it within the 600 characters allowed in the question box. The forced brevity may give the attorney little to go on, so there’s a decent chance you’ll need to hire an attorney to get through a complex issue.
Is Rocket Lawyer right for you?
Rocket Lawyer can be a great resource for people with a DIY bent and those with quick questions. If you have a complex situation, though, the standardized forms may not be enough, even if you can edit them on the site. Nonetheless, people who need to spend a lot of time with an attorney could definitely come out ahead, thanks to the site’s offer of deep discounts on hourly rates.
Tina Orem is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: [email protected].