Legal Forms & Practice Guides

Most day-to-day legal work involves creating fairly standard documents: contracts, agreements, pleadings, releases, discovery requests, petitions, correspondence, and the like. To avoid reinventing the wheel each time they produce a new document, lawyers in every established law practice rely heavily on their organization’s document library. A critical task for new solo practitioners and freelance attorneys is to build their own. Some tools to help:

California Courts web site – Provides all current Judicial Council forms.

Docracy – Free database of many different types of templates, contracts, releases, non-disclosure agreements, and nearly any other type of legal document that a lawyer might want. Documents are organized by industry or purpose. Lawyers can post documents of their own to be accessed by others, a valuable tool to help them network, build their reputation, and market themselves to potential clients. Docracy also offers a free document signing feature and allows the user to track the status of a document through a “waiting for me,” or for others, “executed” or “cancelled” status. – Forms for everything from divorce forms, landlord-tenant forms, wills, accounting, attorney forms, etc. – Helps people of low and moderate means find free legal information. This site has assembled libraries of online resources for such things as navigating small claims court and understanding your rights as a tenant.

Lawpolis – A collaborative professional networking and legal research site by lawyers for lawyers. Lawyers can find and share practical how-to guides, forms, templates, examples, and more.

Legal Landing – A still-nascent Wiki whose mission is “to provide an infinitely growing and expanding resource for the legal community and your average Joe looking to learn some things about the law.” Includes databases of Forms, Templates and Samples.

Nolo – Thousands of do-it-yourself products including legal forms, online documents, books and ebooks, and software. Generate a customized estate planning form like a will, trust, or power of attorney; a lease form; common business forms, etc. 

OnLAW – “Web-based research tool that puts the renowned analysis and expertise of CEB [Continuing Education of the Bar] practice resources on your desktop.” Each book contains legal context, case analysis, direct links to relevant cases and codes, and fillable forms written by and for California judges and lawyers. Free one-year membership for new lawyers.

Practical Law Company – Offers practice notes, standard documents, standard clauses, and checklists in areas such as corporate law, finance, IP, antitrust, federal litigation, bankruptcy, tax, and employment and labor.

Rocket Lawyer – More comprehensive than FindLegalForms. Offers not only forms, but also a database of attorneys, information on pricing for different legal “packages,” and step-by-step guides to things like how to incorporate. Resources are broken down by state, which makes it easy to target the resources applicable to you.

U.S. Legal Forms – The original provider of legal forms on the Internet with over 36,000 state-specific legal documents and forms covering a broad base of categories for consumers, businesses, and professionals.

Sources: Boldly Building a Legal Business: Tech Practice Management