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Stop Selling Documents, Start Selling Advice, or Quit

WhichDraftWe get calls from price shoppers sometimes. “How much is a separation agreement?” they ask. We explain that the agreement itself is a small part of the process. The larger issue, and the important part of our representation, is the advice we give about what the agreement should say along with managing the process and the negotiation.

We explain that they’ll divorce once. We, however, have been through thousands of divorces and we’ll help them avoid the mistakes we’ve seen others make.

“But what about the agreement? How much does it cost?”

Sometimes it’s exasperating.

But, realistically, some people want the document, not the advice.

How much is it?

Well, increasingly it’s really cheap or even free. We’ve all had experiences with document drafting services. They’re getting better and better as the technology develops and the services correct their problems.

Now, the documents are free on some services. WhichDraft, a new service provided by attorneys, hopes to generate revenues from advertising. They have a range of legal documents on their site and provide a document assembly engine that fills in the blanks.

It’s only a matter of time before they have all the documents we currently create in our practices.

I welcome their entry to the field. An advertising supported model will save some people money on their divorces.

It’s important, however, for your clients to see you as an expert providing valuable advice. If they see you as a document producer then you’re going to be out of a job pretty soon.

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Lee Rosen

Lee Rosen has practiced family law for more than twenty years. With four offices, Rosen Law Firm serves Raleigh, Charlotte, Durham and Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Rosen served as the Law Practice Management Editor of the ABA Family Advocate for more than a decade and received the ABA James Keane Award for excellence in eLawyering. He served as Chair of the Law Practice Management Section of the North Carolina Bar Association, is a frequent speaker and is often sought out by the media as a source of family law insight and commentary.