Excerpt From the Guerrilla Guide to Legal Research – Legal Forms


The following post is a small section of the Guerrilla Guide to Legal Research which is in the final stages and should be released in the next week or so.

How to Research and Find Forms

 I debated on whether or not to include this section because the most common question I have seen on websites is “where can I find a form for…”

 Unfortunately, there is no one place that has every form you need in a case. Some places, like the ones that advertise forms on LessonsInLaw.com are very good but I always hesitate to tell someone to use them unless they are doing it from scratch and are just trying to save time.

 When a young lawyer starts at a law firm the absolute best thing the firm can do is give him some documents to draft and show him where the statutes are that describe what has to be in there. Provide him the facts, show him the statutes and then let him draft them from a blank page. After he finishes, show him a form and see how he did.

That’s what anyone who is trying to represent themselves should do as well. You can use the abilities learned in this book to find the law, then use the law to draft whatever legal document you need.

By doing it from the ground up you will be able to respond to any attacks on it and won’t just be using a paper which you don’t understand. A person using a legal form that they don’t understand is as dangerous to their case as an inexperienced person is to other people.

However, if you absolutely must have a form then other than things like wills and divorces, for which the forms sites are tolerable, then the best place to get one is at the clerk of courts office for the court where your case is or will be. Almost all court files are public records and often if you are friendly enough the people there will help you find a form that has been filed by a lawyer in a similar case and only charge you a nominal copying fee.

Once you get the form don’t just copy it and file it. Find the law that applies and try to understand why the lawyer put each thing in the document. That way if something changes or you have to respond you have enough of an understanding to do so competently.

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