Despite years of discussion among Pennsylvania lawyers and several bar association opinions on the issue, the ethical implications of online legal service providers like Avvo, Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom remain unclear in the state.
In a recent opinion by three New Jersey Supreme Court committees, guidance from the Pennsylvania Bar Association played a part in the decision to blacklist three legal services websites—Avvo, Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom. In the joint opinion, the Advisory Committee on Professional Ethics, the Committee on Attorney Advertising and the Committee on Unauthorized Practice of Law said Avvo facilitates improper fee-splitting, while Rocket Lawyer and LegalZoom lack registration as legal service plans in New Jersey.
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