Top 10 Most Common Legal Questions of 2020

What Legal Issues Did People Need to Know About in 2020?

Credit: Marten Newhall (

Mercifully, 2020 is over. The challenges of the year led people to search for a wide range of legal info on Law Soup. We have compiled the most common legal questions and topics people searched for on Law Soup in 2020.

Many people also search for very specific and somewhat obscure information. Unfortunately, we can’t provide answers to all of the millions of possible legal questions people may have. I’m hoping artificial intelligence can solve this problem at some point. In the meantime, I’m doing what I can to provide as much information as possible. If you have a question that you can’t find an answer to, ask the lawyers at our partner LegalShield.

Here are the most popular questions and issues, along with links to where you can find answers and information:

1. Covid related issues

This one is no surprise, of course. Covid and the resulting economic shutdowns led to widespread layoffs, and many people had difficulty paying rent and worried about being evicted. People searched for information about being laid off and their legal rights, rent control and eviction laws, and other Covid issues.

2. Airbnb & Short term rentals

Despite the pandemic, or maybe even because of it, Airbnbs and other short term rentals are as popular as ever. People wanted to know about the laws related to Airbnbs.

3. Privacy & Personal information

People were particularly interested in whether their information could be posted online or used without their consent. See our Guide to Privacy and the Internet for more on this.

4. Police use of force

Police misconduct and abuse of power was a major issue in 2020. There are many rules on what police officers can do and when, and these are in flux. See our Guide to Police Conduct.

5. Freelancing

The so called “gig economy” has been growing for years now, but many more people started freelancing or considering freelancing in 2020. People searched for laws related to freelancers, independent contractors, and subcontractors (which are all really the same thing). See our Guide to Freelance Laws.

6. Business

2020 was a big year to start (or close, unfortunately) a business, apparently. Many people wanted to know about business licenses, business structures, e-commerce, and closing up shop.

7. Creatives, art, and artists

Law Soup users searched for information on legal issues for creatives, including artists, writers and others. They wanted to know about copyright and fair use, in particular.

8. Property rights

People had questions about their property rights, such as whether a city can tell them what they can and can’t do with their property. Spoiler alert: they can.

9. Hacking and unauthorized use of accounts

Apparently people do some shady things to each other, getting into another person’s social media or email accounts without their consent. And yes, you can be criminally prosecuted for doing so.

10. Drugs

Marijuana is being legalized by more and more states. Some other drugs are also being decriminalized. People want to know what’s going on with all this, and we are doing our best to keep up.

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