Where can I get cheap and good legal advice?


I am looking for good/cheap legal advice for a web application my friend is building.

We will need to write a Term Of Service.

  • Do we really need a lawyer for that?
  • Are there templates out there?
  • If not where can I get a good/cheap lawyer to help me make one?
  • I have many legal related questions where should I go to get it?

I live in Canada. But I think I will need from US lawyers incase I get in trouble there.

Thanks in advance for any help.

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asked Oct 19 '11 at 17:23
Jean Nicolas Boulay Desjardins
162 points
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5 Answers


I'm a lawyer- I'd recommend finding some precedents of the terms of service and drafting what you want, and then just running them by a lawyer. That will save time and money. Be prepared to pay a retainer, though.

Non-lawyers frequently think, "why did I pay a lawyer for that" but when problems arise down the road, you'll be glad that you did. Consider a lawyer an ounce of prevention (of legal problems)...worth a pound of cure.

$500 is way too low for TOS + privacy policy. A decent lawyer should bill at at least $250 an hour- if not more.

answered Oct 31 '11 at 03:32
1,747 points


I suspect that relying on cheap advice, while assuming that it is good will eventually yield an underwhelming outcome.

As they say: Good, Quick, Cheap - pick two.

answered Oct 19 '11 at 19:11
Steve Jones
3,239 points
  • His question states quite clearly that he picked Good and Cheap... – Jfoucher 12 years ago
  • I know, so it won't be quick, i.e. will require extended effort. – Steve Jones 12 years ago


Avvo.com is a Q&A site with lawyers. There may be answers on there already that meet your needs.

answered Oct 20 '11 at 00:29
Henry The Hengineer
4,316 points
  • Thank you I also love your answer! Sorry I can only pick one :\ – Jean Nicolas Boulay Desjardins 12 years ago


I'm afraid that Steve Jones answer (though well intentioned) is a bit of a cliché. I've worked with plenty of lawyers who were expensive, slow and consistently underwhelmed with their results and knowledge of the law.

I've become a big fan of taking responsibility to learn as much as I could and hire an attorney to do those things that require passing a bar exam to accomplish.

Nolo.com has a tremendous supply of lay oriented books, forms and law related educational materials. Amazon.com is your friend as well. Your local library often can order the more popular titles for reading free of charge.

answered Oct 20 '11 at 05:04
Keith De Long
5,091 points
  • There's a reason it is a cliché. Also, picking two doesn't mean you get two, it is just a way to focus. – Steve Jones 12 years ago


Since you are Canadian, you should definitely check out Rob Hyndman's (a pretty reputable lawyer) resources, in particular http://hyndmanlaw.com/blog/canadianized-wordpress-terms-of-use/ As per your questions:

  • no, you don't necessarily need a lawyer to write terms of service (TOS). TOS variations mostly depend on industry. But for example if you simply have a blog, the form above will probably be 100% covered. Of course, having a lawyer check out your TOS is a good idea that I will always recommend, but drafting them yourself might save some good bucks.
  • There are a lot of templates out there, but some of them are behind a paywall (and not even that good) or come from sketchy websites. The best technique is to have a look at competitors and get "inspiration" from their TOS.
  • Unfortunately cheap + good is a very rare combo with lawyers. The average price of TOS + and privacy policy is around $500. Anyone who asks for more might be good, but is clearly a shark. Some Law Schools might have clinical programs where they give you free legal consultation, actually of good quality (professors check on students' work). Check out if there's one near you.
  • If you have a lot of legal questions, definitely go to a lawyer.
answered Oct 21 '11 at 08:55
829 points

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