civil legal
civil legal

How to Find Legal Help When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

Whether you need help drawing up a will or a contract – or you’re facing some sort of legal jeopardy or dilemma – hiring an attorney can be expensive.

According to and related websites, most lawyers charge between $100 and $300 an hour. That can feel prohibitive if you need a lawyer to get you out of a legal jam or protect your assets, but you don’t feel like you have any money to spare. Here are some reasons you may need a lawyer:

  • Family law issues, like a contentious divorce.
  • Estate planning.
  • Personal injury.
  • Criminal charges.
  • A restraining order.
  • Your business needs to be restructured or dissolved.
  • You are facing bankruptcy.

In a criminal proceeding, if you can’t afford legal assistance, a court will appoint an attorney for you. In a civil case, generally described as a dispute between two private parties, to get legal representation, you have to get creative.

How to Find Free Legal Help

If you can’t afford an attorney, here are some strategies to try:

  • Contact the city courthouse.
  • Seek free lawyer consultations.
  • Look to legal aid societies.
  • Visit a law school.
  • Contact your county or state bar association.
  • Go to small claims court.

Depending on your situation, you can employ a variety of strategies to get free legal advice or cheap legal assistance. Read on for more information on each option.

Contact the City Courthouse

Andrea Vacca, a collaborative divorce attorney in New York City and the owner of Vacca Family Law Group, says at least with divorces, “some courts offer free assistance to parties who want to fill out their own uncontested divorce paperwork.”

Still, whether it’s a divorce or something else bringing you to court, if you don’t have a lawyer, a logical move is to call the courthouse and ask

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Legal Aid Staff Attorney: Veterans Advocacy

Community Legal Aid (CLA) is the non-profit legal services program providing free civil legal assistance to low-income and elderly residents of central and western Massachusetts. CLA has over 150 dedicated, talented staff working across multiple offices. Our core work includes effective client-centered advocacy and partnerships with our client communities.

CLA seeks an attorney to assist veterans with a range of civil legal issues. The focus of the attorney’s work will be on housing, including representing tenants in eviction cases and assisting tenants facing denials or terminations from public and subsidized housing programs. The attorney may also assist clients with family law issues, income support, and discharge status upgrades. In addition to representing individual clients, the attorney will engage in extensive community outreach and education and will work closely with community partners. The attorney will be based in CLA’s Springfield office.

QUALIFICATIONS: Law students currently in their third year of law school, recent law school graduates, and more experienced attorneys are eligible to apply. Top candidates will have prior experience working with veterans, providing legal representation to tenants, and conducting community outreach. Excellent organizational, communication, and writing skills required.

COMPENSATION: The starting salary for this position is $65,500, which is based on a union scale and adjusted upward depending on experience. CLA offers a very generous benefits package that includes 401(k) with employer-paid contribution; low-cost health insurance (medical, dental, and vision) for employees and their dependents; malpractice insurance; paid leave (4 weeks vacation, 3 personal days, 12 sick days, and 13 holidays); and relocation stipend.

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please apply online on our website. Alternatively, please submit your cover letter and resume to [email protected] or mail to Alicia Vaughan, Human Resources Director, Community Legal Aid, 370 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01608.

CLA is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strives to

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‘Raise legal aid’: Wales’s message to Westminster | News

The Welsh government will tell Westminster to increase civil legal aid funding, the general counsel has revealed, following a visit to the only law center in Wales.

Mick Antoniw, general counsel and minister for the constitution, and Jane Hutt, minister for social justice, visited the Speakeasy Law Center in Cardiff this week.

In an announcement today, Antoniw said: ‘The Speakeasy Law Center is providing a valuable service. I welcome the chance to hear how it is helping people. High-quality legal advice can prevent issues from spiraling and becoming more serious, and I encourage people across Wales to take advantage of the support available to them if they need it.’


Today’s announcement states that despite many areas of justice not being devolved, the Welsh Government’s single advice fund, introduced in January 2020, supports advice services across Wales with around £11m a year, helping to support services like Speakeasy Law Centre.

So far, the fund has supported 144,000 people to deal with more than 660,000 social welfare problems, helped people to claim £83m of additional income, and write off debts worth more than £23m, the announcement states.

Antoniw said: ‘Information and advice services are even more important because of the sweeping real-terms cuts to legal aid over the last decade, which is putting access to advice out of reach for more and more people and increasing the burden on volunteers. We will be stressing the importance of information and specialist advice services, and the need to increase levels of funding, in the upcoming UK government review of civil legal aid.’

Speakeasy Law Center was set up in 1992 and is currently the only law center in Wales. However, work is well underway to set up a law center in Llandudno Junction, North Wales.

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