I Need a Lawyer But Have No Money! What Should I Do?

new a lawyer no money free legal help

Living life can be a crazy experience. Things often go sideways in a hurry. When this happens, getting good legal representation should be your top priority.

This can be a major problem if you need a lawyer but can't afford one. Without a good lawyer, you could find yourself in a world of hurt. So what should you do?

You've come to the right place for answers. This article takes a look at how to get a low-income attorney when money is tight. Keep reading to discover insight into getting the legal help you deserve.

Pro Bono Lawyers

The first option is to contact law firms in your community and inquire about pro bono legal services they might offer.

Believe it or not, most law firms take on a certain amount of pro bono work each year. This means that the offer legal service free of charge to clients who are in desperate need of legal representation yet can't afford to hire a lawyer.

Keep in mind that law firms are typically very picky about the type cases that they will take on free of charge. These cases generally involve individuals who have been forgotten by the system or have very special needs that deserve the best legal representation possible.

Thus they are unlikely to offer pro bono services for cases such as DUI, armed robbery, or assault, etc. The intent is to help those in need, but there are limitations to their generosity. 

Here is a resource that can help when you need an Amazon lawyer to help protect your rights.

Legal Aid Clinics

"Legal aid" is a bit of a catch-all term that refers to a variety of legal services offered for free or at a reduced rate.

Legal aid clinics can help with a wide range of legal issues, but they typically have a long list of restrictions regarding those who qualify for this type of representation. For example, this type of service is generally reserved for low-income individuals such as the homeless or those with very limited financial resources.

To qualify, you will likely need to present proof of financial hardship and display a genuine need for free legal representation. 

Law Schools

Law schools are full of students who have devoted themselves to studying the law. They are not yet lawyers, but they have a desire to learn the law and hunger to gain as much real-world experience as possible before graduating.

Most law schools present students with opportunities to work with real clients in order to expose them to real cases and to gain experience with the legal system.

Students are often willing to work with clients on a pro bono basis, especially if the case involves a specific area of interest such as civil rights. These cases provide a tremendous real-life experience that wouldn't be available to them any other way.

Small Claims Court

Another option for saving money on legal representation is to take your case to a small claims court. These are courts that do not require legal representation, and where the case can be argued directly in front of a judge to be resolved on the spot.

Small claims court is ideal for matters such as trying to recover money from someone, and hiring a lawyer would be an unnecessary expense. 

Unfortunately, this isn't an option for issues such as divorce, child custody cases, or similar issues where the intricacies of the law make the need for a lawyer more necessary.

So if the stakes are low, small claims court can be a great option for saving money and getting the legal matter taking care of as quickly as possible.

Court-Appointed Attorneys

In many cases, you could be entitled to a court-appointed attorney. This is certainly the case in criminal trials, even if you can't afford to pay for an attorney.

Unfortunately, you don't have the same rights when it comes to a civil case. So if your case involves a crime that will include jail time, court-appointed representation will be provided, but for issues such as property, wills, or business matters, you'll need to look for help elsewhere.

Federally Funded Programs

Take the time to research federal grants that are available for help in civil cases involving low-income individuals.

These programs are designed to assist in cases dealing with issues such as divorce, housing concerns, social security, and unemployment cases. 

Keep in mind that federal funding is reserved for people with income below a specific level. Thus this isn't intended as a way to save money, but rather for those lacking the funds for proper representation where legal counsel is most desperately needed.

Charitable Organizations

There are also charitable organizations in most communities that specialize in helping those in need. These organizations will assess your case and provide legal advice or arrange for representation.

Contact Your Country Or State Bar Association

You'd be wise to contact your local bar association. They can provide the names and addresses of law firms in your area that offer pro bono services. They can also offer other types of advice regarding how to find help in obtaining legal counsel for your situation.

Negotiate a Lower Fee

Never be afraid to negotiate for a lower fee. Most lawyers will quote an hourly rate, and yet many of them will consider a lower rate depending on what the case requires and the needs of the particular client involved.

Represent Yourself

You can also represent yourself. This will obviously save a ton of money, but keep in mind that this option will likely involve a lot of research and results will vary. After all, if your case is complicated, choosing to represent yourself could prove disastrous. 

What to Do When Your Broke But Need a Lawyer

Legal representation can be expensive. Even if you're poor, you might find yourself in circumstances where you need a lawyer. Fortunately, the information contained here can help you with your legal service needs on a budget.

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