LegalZoom is an Internet vending machine, the largest, most expensive vending machine on planet earth. Touting the excellence of its lawyers on one hand and disclaiming all responsibility on the other, LegalZoom dispenses legal products and services far and wide never having to send out a bill or listen to a client.
Perhaps the founders/owners of LegalZoom deserve credit for identifying a huge, previously untapped, unregulated market, consumers who are drawn to the relatively low-cost and convenience offered by LegalZoom, consumers who feel confident and comfortable buying legal services in much the same way one buys a drink from a vending machine at a rest stop on the highway.
With more technological advances, perhaps the day is not long off when there will be drive through legal centers (“I’ll have a big Mac, fries, diet coke and lease) and actual vending machine dispensing legal documens at gas stations, convenience stores and highway rest stops.
Regulation? Sure, LegalZoom should be regulated. It’s advertising is slick, too slick. But the best regulation is common sense. One gets what one pays for. If people demand low cost and convenience, they will get it. The marketplace, in the first instance, doesn’t much care what is offered for sale. It only cares that the sale takes place.