Upstart Outsmarts LegalZoom

If you thought that lawyers couldn’t effectively compete with low-end, quasi-legal providers like Legal Zoom, think again. There’s a new upstart service, aptly named Upstart Legal that’s come up with one formula to take on non-lawyer alternatives.

The brainchild of attorney John Gerber, offers a web-based, legal package that gives entrepreneurs the legal documents they need to start and run their businesses reports the Philadelphia Business Journal. The package, which costs $395.00, includes LLC formation, non-disclosure agreements, federal and state tax identification number registration, service contracts, partnership agreements and subcontractor agreements. While Upstart Legal’s package costs slightly more than than Legal Zoom’s Express Gold Service, it includes the same key materials, plus the added assurance of quality control by an attorney with twenty years of experience with start-ups.

From a consumer perspective, the upside to using UpstartLegal is clear. But lawyers like Gerber benefit too. Because UpstartLegal leverages Gerber’s experience and knowledge and automates the preparation process, the marginal cost of adding the service (after the start up costs of set-up) is close to zero. Meanwhile, Gerber gets the opportunity to capture start-up clients that could not otherwise afford his service. And at some point, these companies might grow up and graduate to using Gerber’s full service firm, Gerber Legal.

Lawyers can try to sue companies like Legal Zoom, but competition from non-legal sources is not going to go away. As I wrote over five years ago, rather than try to beat these companies into submission, lawyers should find ways to compete with them, and let market forces handle the rest.


  1. Ken Keith on August 3, 2010 at 4:50 pm

    I just stumbled across this blog and thought it was the right place for this info. I am a criminal defense lawyer in New York and use the number 1-800-ARRESTED.

    I have started licensing the number for other cities and states. It will make existing advertising far more effective and is an amazing cornerstone around which to build an ad campaign. People always remember the number and it tells people what you do in an instant. If you’d like to talk just dial the number and if my firm answers it means no one has it in your area. Ask for Ken and I’ll go over how it works. It’s cheap, yours for as long as you want it and is the best number for a criminal defense practice without question. Give me a call.
    Ken Keith

  2. Anonymous on January 26, 2012 at 3:21 am

    Slight problem there with the antiquated text phone numbers…most smartphones don’t show the letters over the numbers anymore, and smartphones own over half the mobile market now.  So those phone users will have no idea how to call you.  But if you’re anticipating that most of your calls will come from payphones in a jail, you’ve got the right idea.

  3. Steven Domenici on February 10, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    Don’t let scampcat get you down!  My droid razr shows the letters on my keypad! 🙂

  4. Johnny Ringo on January 21, 2016 at 11:47 pm

    Well, Upstart is no longer in business. Who outsmarted who?

Leave a Comment