About Legal Answers

For Everyone

What is Justia Legal Answers?

Justia Legal Answers is a forum where people can get answers to their basic legal questions on a variety of topics. Consumers post questions, and attorneys answer.

Who can ask a question?

Anyone with a Justia account can post a question for a lawyer to review. Register for your free Justia account here.

Do I need to register?

You do not need to register to view answers, but you must have a free Justia account to post a question. Registering also allows you to be notified by email when a lawyer answers your question. Registration requires a valid email address.

Who can answer a question?

Only attorneys with a Justia account can answer questions. As part of the registration process for attorneys, Justia reviews a lawyer's credentials to ensure that at the time of registration, he or she is licensed to practice law. Registered attorneys also have profiles in the Justia Lawyer Directory -- you may visit those profiles to review their qualifications for yourself.

Why would lawyers answer my question for free?

In return for answering questions, attorneys receive points that translate into higher placement in our Justia Lawyer Directory. At Justia, we believe in doing well by doing good. We want to reward lawyers for providing legal information and contributing to the growing amount of free legal content online.

Should submitting a question to Justia Legal Answers be a substitute for meeting in person with a lawyer or hiring a lawyer in my area?

Absolutely not. Most legal matters are complicated and require the advice of an attorney. Justia Answers is a place to get started, get some ideas, and maybe even find a lawyer in your area who can help you. Answers provided on this forum do not constitute legal advice, nor is does a lawyer’s response to your question create an attorney–client relationship.


Your question should provide important information and details, but please remember that Justia Answers is a public forum and can be seen by anyone. Do not include any information that identifies you personally such as your name, phone number, email address, or social security number. Moreover, disclosure of any information regarding the prior, ongoing, or future commission of a crime may expose you to liability, criminal charges, or both.

For Lawyers

Justia Legal Answers is a moderated forum where persons seeking legal services can request answers to basic legal questions from an attorney.

How can I participate in Justia Legal Answers?

To respond to questions posted in Justia Legal Answers, you must first register and obtain a Justia Account. First, locate and claim your lawyer profile in the Justia Lawyer Directory. If you have already claimed your profile, you are already registered with Justia. If you cannot locate your profile, register a new account and complete the verification procedures. Registration is free.

Once you are registered with Justia, sign in at Justia Legal Answers. You can view questions by practice area and jurisdiction. If you find a question to which you can competently provide an answer, you can click on the "Answer this Question" button to respond.

What do I get for answering questions?

When you answer a question, your response will be publicly displayed on the question page along with your profile photo, if you provided one, and a link back to your profile in the Justia Lawyer Directory. If the person asking the question wants to contact you for further assistance, he or she can obtain your phone number or send you an email from your lawyer profile page.

In addition, Justia will award attorneys who provide answers with karma points. These points will reflect your level of contribution to Justia Legal Answers, and will be used to recognize attorneys who have provided significant service to the Justia Legal Answers community.

How many points will I get for answering questions?

You will earn between 10 and 50 points for each answer you give depending on a number of factors.

The base points are:

  • The first lawyer to answer a question earns 50 points
  • The second lawyer to answer the same question earns 30 points
  • Additional lawyers who answer the question earn 20 points.

Attorneys who answer a question from a jurisdiction(s) outside of where they are licensed will receive half the number of points as compared to attorneys who answer questions within their jurisdiction(s). For example, if you are an injury attorney in California, and you are the first lawyer to answer an injury law question from Florida, you will receive 25 points for that answer instead of the 50 points normally awarded.

Are rhere other ways to earn points?

Next to every answer are "thumbs up" and "thumbs down" icons. A "thumbs up" is a positive vote for your answer. If another attorney gives your answer a "thumbs up," you will earn an extra 5 points. A "thumbs up" from a non-lawyer will give you an additional 1 point.

A "thumbs down" is a negative vote, and carries the same weight as a positive vote. For example, if an attorney has a positive vote from another attorney, and a negative vote from a non-lawyer, the score will be 4 points (5-1). Users will not accrue negative points from a thumbs down--the score will be set to 0.

What Are the Top Contributor Leaderboards?

Top contributor leaderboards listing attorneys with the most points appear throughout the Justia Answers site - placement on these boards will drive traffic to your profile and help you attract new clients. Each state and practice area has its own leaderboard, and there are also combined state/practice area leaderboards. These specific leaderboards can be found on the sidebar when browsing or reading questions in that practice area or state.

A general leaderboard lists top contributors across all states and practice areas. The general leaderboard is displayed on the sidebar of the Justia Legal Answers homepage.

Leaderboards are available for the last 7 days, the last 30 days, the current month to date, the current year to date, and all time. At the end of each month, the current monthly top contributor list is recorded in an archive.

Those attorneys who are listed on a monthly leader board receive a special badge that is displayed on their Justia Lawyer Directory profile. This badge tells potential clients that you are active in contributing free online content.

What is the level that shows up next to my name?

As you earn points, you are awarded a rank or a "Level" based on the total number of points you have earned. The levels are as follows:

Level 1 1 point
Level 2 100 points
Level 3 250 points
Level 4 500 points
Level 5 1,000 points
Level 6 5,000 points
Level 7 20,000 points
Level 8 50,000 points
Level 9 100,000 points
Level 10 250,000 points
Level 11 500,000 points