Getting either a financial or legal education can be expensive and time-consuming. If you want the best of the best, a Harvard-level education is going to cost over $70,000, according to this CNBC report. And if you want an MBA from Stanford, it’s going to cost you more than $73,000.
Thankfully though, our virtual world makes learning enough about either field to “talk the talk” accessible to anyone with internet access. So if you want to expand your personal knowledge, do your own taxes, or learn some basic legal lingo, there have never been more free resources at your disposal.
While the connection between the legal and financial professions may not be readily apparent, in this modern world knowing how to represent yourself in all matters can help lead to success. So if you encounter an event where you need professional help, your ability to speak with some authority to accountants, stockbrokers, or lawyers, could help you navigate professional and personal matters more efficiently.
With that in mind, we’ve compiled some of the best free legal and financial resources available on the web right now.
1. Google Scholar
The first resource comes from internet mega-company Google. This academic spin-off from the search engine giant allows users to search scholarly literature on just about any research topic.
Enter a few keywords and you’ll be taken to lists of academic papers, journal articles, books, and other resources. In many cases, you’ll be able to access the publication’s full text. And if it’s not available online, Google Scholar will locate a print or online version that can be accessed through local libraries.
Google Scholar isn’t specifically tailored to legal research, but it does provide a broad enough search that finding legal documents like articles, patents, legal journals, and legal opinions a breeze.
The service even offers a “Case Law” search function to make it easy to search case law, filtered by jurisdiction.
If financial information is what you seek, there are few better places to start than Investopedia. This site offers layman descriptions of many of the more opaque words from the financial world. After all, financial jargon can be confusing and difficult to make sense of. That’s why a site like Investopedia is such an invaluable resource.
The site also offers many financial investing tutorials and exam preparation materials. Users can use these tools to help understand key concepts. Additionally, the site offers the Investopedia Stock Simulator, which helps users learn what trading stocks is like and helps you determine your risk profile before jumping into the market where your real money might be at stake.
For the entrepreneurs out there, free resources can be invaluable — especially when trying to get a business off of the ground. The Small Business Administration has created the SCORE program in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The group has been around for over 50 years, providing access to a network of around 10,000 volunteer mentors. These mentors are either current or retired business owners themselves, so they are able to offer insight and mentorship on specific industry topics.
Right now, these mentors are available for free, remote consultations for any small business owner in the United States. And there is no limit to the number of consultations a business can receive.
Currently, the program is helping out with many questions related to Covid-19, specifically how to apply for the Paycheck Protection Program loans and economic injury disaster grants. Once approved, the mentors help guide business owners on how to best use the funds.
If a business isn’t approved for whatever reason, SCORE helps figure out what next steps can be taken, including finding alternate sources of funding.
4. Chambers Profile Subscriptions
If you’re looking for help with a legal or financial issue, it can sometimes be difficult to decide what firm to go with. Chambers and Partners has been researching the top global firms since the 1990s. It provides rankings based on its own independent market research and uses that information to create lists of the best firms from around the world.
With this tool, curious parties are able to research firms and decide if they’ll be a good fit. Profiles like this one for Asiaciti Trust help users obtain key information about each firm, including office location.
Budgeting and financial literacy are a struggle for people worldwide. This became patently clear following the 2008 financial collapse. It became apparent that many families and individuals were living beyond their means, so the United States government decided to offer budgeting and financial literacy information to the public. The final result was MyMoney.gov – the combination of expertise from 22 federal entities offers a plethora of expert advice and free information.
The information is broken down into many different categories, each offering a range of specific articles and resources. For example, If you’ve recently had a new child, the category “Life Events” can help you find out what costs to expect and explore child care resources. Or if you’re trying to figure out how to prepare for your retirement or buy a new home, you can take advantage of the many resources at your disposal, including various calculators to help you create a budget.
If you want to begin saving and investing, the website will offer tips and advice or you can delve deeper into specific tools and guides, including current economic data and financial statistics.
Whether you’re looking for legal advice or planning your finances, for yourself or for your business, there are innumerable resources available online. While tools like these won’t be enough to get you into a school like Harvard or Stanford, they’re certainly enough to help you educate yourself. That way, you’ll be able to know what you’re talking about when you sit down with financial planners or lawyers.
When used correctly, resources like these can be tools for self-empowerment. They give you the language necessary and the ability to advocate for yourself during some of the most important decisions of your life.
If you are interested in even more lifestyle-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.