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 USLegal.com 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