DIY LEGAL WORK. Is it a good idea?




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‘Doing it yourself’ has become possible in many fields of endeavour, thanks to the internet. The internet has become humanity’s repository of knowledge and resources. It is now possible to download the knowledge, plans and tips to do anything from building treehouses to planning your own funeral. Even legal work is now in the domain of ‘DIY’.

Although it may be possible to do it yourself, is it a good idea? As a lawyer, you might expect me to say ‘no’ to this question, in the interests of preserving work for me and my professional colleagues. Have a go I say! If you think you can do it, give it a crack. It’s as Australian as a day at the beach, barbecues and watching the footy. As a nation, we are a resourceful and adventurous bunch.  Whether or not you actually want to do your own legal work is up to you. And to what extent

Everyone needs to call a professional eventually. ‘Getting out of your depth’ is a feeling we are all familiar with. It occurs at different points for different people. For instance someone with a background in real estate will have a much higher level of knowledge and experience in property law than someone who has never seen a commercial lease before. What I like about people who have tried it themselves is that they have realised hard it is, and appreciate your help. So by all means, have a go yourself!

A question I am often asked is – would you do your own legal work yourself? The deciding factor for me is the issues we face with all DIY projects:

  • no guarantees of doing it right
  • no insurancelegal 4



The last point is the most important for me. In DIY, if you mess it up you have only yourself to blame. In engaging a professional, you have the security of knowing they are insured if they make a mistake. This is borne out in the old adage:  ‘a solicitor who does their own legal work has a fool for a client’. Would I do my own legal work? No. Should you? It’s a free country. Have a go. When you need a helping hand, call me.

Eric Kaldelawsoc

Kalde & Associates

Commercial Lawyers