Catawba County News

Technology: Gale Legal Forms

Technology: Gale Legal Forms

April 03, 2018

If you’re trying to deal with legal situations and time – or money – is tight, consider using the library’s online access to Gale LegalForms. This resource is free to people with a library card, and it’s a terrific resource for tackling legal paperwork on your own. We're providing an introduction to it on Friday, April 13 at 4 pm at the St. Stephens Branch Library.

Gale LegalForms are officially approved documents like those actually used at law firms; they’re not the standard forms you might encounter from other sources. Plus, the database offers legal forms that are state-specific, so you can feel comfortable knowing that you’re not using a catch-all form that may or may not apply to your circumstances.

Since LegalForms is an electronic resource, its forms are available in Microsoft Word or Adobe formats and can be tailored by users to add in specific details as necessary. In addition, completed sample forms are available for review, so you can see at a glance whether you’ve included everything that’s required.

Beyond sample forms, Gale LegalForms offers specialized documents for specific needs, including bankruptcy, bill of sale, contracts, divorce, employment, incorporate, LLC, landlord/tenant, living wills, name change, power of attorney, real estate, taxes, and last will. These forms can help take the guesswork out of your efforts and focus your attention on what’s most relevant.

Another benefit for LegalForms users is what Gale calls its Law Digest. This tool defines legal terminology to be more easily understandable, and it provides examples of case law so that you can do your own research about precedents and legal leanings. This background information is incredibly useful if you need to gain familiarity with the broad strokes before you apply the concepts to your own circumstances. Law Digest even highlights high-profile topics like the Americans with Disabilities Act, capital punishment, domestic violence, gay and lesbian rights, physician-assisted suicide, and thousands more. Seeing how the legal system has evaluated these issues previously can give you guidance in completing your own forms and making your own case.

As a tie-in to Gale’s LegalForms and as community perk, the library system offers notary services at its Newton, Claremont, Southwest, and St. Stephens branches, so if the form requires a seal, we can provide it for free. Just make sure you call to set up an appointment beforehand, so we can advise you to have everything ready before you visit.

And of course, our library staff is happy to help you with any questions or needs you may have with the database, especially if you’d like to try it out while you’re at one of our seven locations. Just ask!