Attorneys are expensive, there’s just no denying that. Whenever you’re needing to protect yourself such as getting a criminal defense attorney is something that can be very expensive. Usually, when someone hires an attorney, they’re not expecting it, it’s something that tends to be more surprising because something major has happened such as an accident for instance. It usually depends on the case itself that can contribute to how much the attorney could cost. Usually for a criminal proceeding if you can’t afford legal assistance the court will appoint an attorney to you.
Having one appointed to you is already going to make you question whether or not they’ll properly do their job, plus you didn’t get to have a say. When it comes to civil cases, such as two private parties, you don’t receive legal assistance unless you pay up. These cases can happen at any time so it’s best to just stay prepared. So here are some ways to find legal help if you’re unable to afford a lawyer.
Look into legal aid organizations
There are organizations out there such as LSC that offer assistance. These tend to be nonprofit organizations some states and cities will have their own. These provide legal services to low-income families and individuals. This is something that’s definitely worth exploring because there could be a chance that you could qualify for assistance.
Look into free consultations
One way to save money would be to take advantage of the free consultations that many lawyers tend to offer. These could be in the office but most of the time they’re either on the phone or by video call. These usually don’t last more than 15 minutes but it could help you out in getting more clarity on what your next steps should be. Sometimes these lawyers may be able to point you in the right direction to organizations or other lawyers that may be able to help or offer services at a very low cost.
Consider small claims court
While it’s going to depend on why exactly you’re needing to seek legal assistance, small claims courts tend to not need a lawyer. These types of cases are usually for trying to collect money from someone that owes you and lawyers aren’t needed in this. In each state, it’s going to vastly depend but if someone owes you something such as money then this could be an option.
Check out your local courthouse
Some courthouses offer free assistance depending on what the case is. This could be an option depending on why you’re needing to seek a lawyer. If you’re looking to divorce your spouse then this could be something that’s helpful. Courthouses are great ways for being pointed in the right direction for affordable lawyers, financial aid services, and information for nonprofit legal aid. Most courthouses will have a contact list of lawyers that offer pro-bono services so this may even work for you too.
Go to a law school
Many law schools offer pro-bono programs and even law students can offer free legal advice. It’s always something worth looking into. If your city has a law school, don’t be afraid to look into their free services.