Saturday, July 3, 2010

6 Sources of Free Legal Forms

Forms purchased on-line or at the bookstore are very often a bad investment. They tend to be inaccurate, incomplete, and provide useless instructions for filling them out and filing them with the court. (See my post on that topic.)

Before you purchase a form from some fee-for-service site such as US Legal Forms or Legal Zoom, try these free sources of high-qualify forms:


(1) The County Law Library

If you go to a Texas District Courthouse, they will have a law library that has paper-based forms for many common purposes. These forms are not very fancy, but they are drafted and recognized by the judges who preside in that courthouse. These forms will also conform to local rules of practice which the fee-based web sites NEVER comply with. These forms are either free or you may be charged 10 cents per page–which is still a great deal.

(2) District Court Web Sites

Many district courts in Texas maintain web sites that contain a few forms. Again, these forms will be drafted and recognized by the courts in that courthouse so they are of high legal quality. They are always free to download. If you are in Collin County, an excellent source is Texas Judge.

(3) Texas Law Help

TexasLawHelp.org maintains an extensive library of free forms for many purposes, including family law. These forms are drafted by local attorneys who practice in Texas courts every day and who are comitted to providing quality assistance to those who are financially constrained.
(4) State Bar Web Sites

OK, in Texas it’s a little bleak. But in other states, notably Wisconsin, the state bar’s web site provides a treasure-trove of free forms.

(5) Attorney web sites

Some Texas Attorneys maintain great forms on their web sites as a public service. For example, in Texas, TexasProbate provides forms that attorneys all over Texas use in handling probate and estate planning matters. My web site provides a way for visitors to create a free Power of Attorney.

(6) Legal Aid

If you meet the income qualifications, you can ask Legal Aid for help. If they accept your case, they will provide all the forms you need at no cost to you.

Many lawyers and the courts in Texas want to help the public obtain legal results and provide excellent, free forms to help self-represented litigants achieve those results.

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