Login | December 18, 2018

Online legal document exchanges (for a price)

Technology for Lawyers

Published: October 20, 2017

Shouldn’t be a surprise, but there are scads of attorneys willing to sell, or buy, documents to use as templates.

Several sites now exist as exchanges between attorneys to buy and sell documents, which we will get to shortly. Several other sites have come and gone and no longer exist, which may shine a light on this particular business model.

A positive to this kind of doc sharing is that these docs/ forms, are generally less expensive than the forms available on pay sites like Lexis-Nexis. The negative? Who do you trust? So, buying these documents may entail doing a little extra research to make sure that they are up-to-date and accurate representations of current law.

So—legal document exchange sites currently in existence include: lawyershelplawyers (https://www.lawyershelplawyers.com) and Esq.me (https://www.esqme.com; seems to be in beta as of this writing).

Both sites give attorneys the ability to both purchase documents for download and upload your docs for sale to other attorneys, charging by the download.

Both sites require a user (or seller) to post identification as a practicing attorney. Esq.com posts a reminder to redact sensitive material. Both sites allow a seller to set any price for any document.

Lawyershelplawyers currently has thousands of court-used documents for sale in numerous jurisdictions, along with lots of positive testimonials. The site also allows you to post and sell “matters of public information.”

Another site within the same ecosystem, although operating in a different way, is FileGenius, which also acts as an attorney document exchange, but with a fixed monthly fee.

One perhaps interesting note is that documents that have been e-filed in state court are generally then free to download (the federal courts charge through PACER for downloading filings). The U.S. Supreme Court’s document filings are also free and open to the public. So, maybe an enterprising lawyer can look at clerk of courts’ sites to find an appropriate template.

Oh, and that they don’t have some kind of copyright violation coming along with them into your system. (There are a series of cases dealing with the copyright-ability of various filings).

So, you know, you get what you pay for. But sites like this could be helpful.