There may come a time in your life when you need legal advice or you need to take legal action, but you may not be able to afford a traditional lawyer. If this is the case, don’t assume that you’re out of luck just because you don’t have the money. There are plenty of options available if you can’t afford an attorney, so be sure to look into the following.
Pro Bono Lawyer
Some lawyers take on pro bono cases, which means they will act as your lawyer and take on the case without asking for money in return. Not all lawyers will take on pro bono cases, so you’ll first need to find one that will. Also, some lawyers have certain qualifications that people have to meet in order to receive a pro bono case, such as a history of domestic abuse or proof of low income. Keep in mind that you may need to prove you meet their requirements in order to receive pro bono help.
Sometimes court houses or law firms offer self-help clinics for individuals who need legal help but cannot afford a lawyer. During these events, lawyers will volunteer their time to provide free legal advice to individuals who need is as well as help other individuals fill out certain court documents or forms that they may need. Contact local attorney’s offices or your local courthouse to see if there are any of these events available in your area.
Automated Legal Programs
The Internet can be a great way to help fulfill your legal needs if you can’t afford a lawyer. Some websites out there will provide you with free legal advice to help you determine your next steps. Other websites will even help you receive, fill out, and submit certain legal forms without the help of a lawyer. Do some research online to see what programs or options are available to you without the fees of a lawyer.
Federally Funded Programs
There are national organizations out there that fund law firms and legal clinics to help low income individuals receive the legal services they need for little to no cost. You can search for legal aids in your area that utilize these federally funded programs, or you can reach out to your local courthouse and ask them for references or information regarding these programs in your area.
Every state has a public defender system in place to help those low-income individuals in need of legal services to receive it. If you have been arrested, you can tell the police officer that you need a public defender, and the court will then assign one to you at little to no cost.
You always have the option of representing yourself in court. Some people who cannot afford an attorney opt to take this route, as it will save them on the cost of court. However, if you are not familiar with the legal system, this may put you at a disadvantage, so consider all your options first.
Companies such as National Family Solutions, through QaStart.com, prepare all the documents for your case and help you represent yourself. This could be a great option for you if you cannot afford an attorney but would still like legal assistance.