Lawyers, Not ScrivenersReading Time: 3 minutes
The pricing for our flat-rate legal services at L4SB are priced at, or very close to, the pricing one might find at non-legal competitors, such as legalzoom.com or rocketlawyer.com. The pricing is about the same, is the service about the same?
Scriveners versus Attorneys
Did you know that a lawyer has as much education as a medical doctor?
Wikipedia defines scrivener as a “person who could read and write or wrote letters to court and legal documents. Scriveners were people who made their living by writing or copying written material. This usually indicated secretarial and administrative duties such as dictation and keeping business, judicial, and history records for kings, nobles, temples, and cities.”
Today, “a scrivener” can often be found referred to by organizations such as LegalZoom, who purport to provide “legal help” to their customers, but do so by relying solely upon “document scriveners” to perform nothing but the most cursory and basic review of legal documents (i.e. spell check, capitalization check, blank space elimination, etc). See LegalZoom’s “Peace-of-Mind Review ™“.
Scriveners can literally be anyone trained or hired by a company, without any legal training or a college education!
Scriveners are not required to carry insurance or hold themselves accountable to a regulatory agency. If a scrivener makes a mistake, a client cannot hold the scrivener accountable to that mistake, aside from whatever the scrivener’s company promises to their clients. Scrivener’s do not know what the law is, and may not offer legal advice of any kind whatsoever.
Attorneys are college educated individuals, who have taken at least three (3) years of graduate education, and have passed an arduous exam in the state(s) they practice law in. They are accountable to their state’s bar, and if they commit malpractice or violate their professional rules of conduct, they can be held accountable in the eyes of the law. In fact, an attorney can be sanctioned, disbarred, fined or jailed for a variety of offenses that scriveners would laugh off, if scriveners were found to have done the very same thing as an attorney.
The difference between a scrivener and an attorney?
|Review legal documents for basic errors and issues (spelling, capitalization, basic grammar, formatting)|
|Review legal documents for completeness of basic information|
|Can answer very basic questions of no legal significance|
|Can tell you the legal significance, meaning and application of arcane legal jargon, or otherwise provide complete answers and explanations to your questions|
|Review legal documents for structural and logical problems|
|Review legal documents for legal risks and problems|
|Review legal documents for perceived financial and business risks|
|Review to ensure you have the right legal documents, and are filled out properly to meet your particular needs (as communicated or made known to the reviewer)|
|Identify negotiating opportunities and make recommendations|
|Discuss your legal needs, and make legal suggestions and recommendations that best meet your needs|
|Ensure your privacy and confidentiality through heavily regulated professional rules of conduct|
|Legal documents are reviewed by a legal professional with a graduate-level education, not just a high-school diploma or 2-year college degree|
|Your questions and communications are immune from discovery, and otherwise cannot be introduced or used against you in a court of law, except in limited circumstances|
|Required to carry insurance, at the cost of thousands of dollars a year, to help protect clients|
|Your important legal documents and issues are actually addressed and considered, as well applied to your unique and particular circumstances (as communicated or made known to the reviewer)|
|Carefully regulated in each state, and may not provide services unless they pass an arduous and difficult exam to become certified, and then are usually required to take ongoing continuing education on a yearly basis|
|May not take your money in advance, unless the money is placed in a trust account|
|Money paid for services is heavily regulated through professional rules of conduct|
All Services by L4SB are Performed (or Overseen) by Attorneys
The choice is clear: who do you want to help you with your important legal documents? A document scrivener, or for just about the same price, an attorney?