Lawyers: they’re everywhere.
Radio ads, billboards, commercials, and buses, are constantly advertising legal services. However, even though there are over 1.3 million active lawyers in the United States, it doesn’t mean they’re all affordable.
Do you need help finding an attorney that will work within your budget? For those looking to get legal help, without going broke, we can help.
We’re here to present the top ways to find quality attorneys, that won’t put you in debt. So take a look, you might just find the answer to all of your problems.
Finding an Attorney
You should never rush the attorney hiring process. Instead, take your time as you compare the prices and services different attorneys offer.
Here are the best tips for finding an attorney you can afford:
- Contact legal aid society
- Find pro bono lawyer
- Explorer payment plans
- Visit a law school
- Price shop attorneys
First, let’s look at how you can find free legal help.
Federally Funded Legal Aid Programs
Did you know that there’s a large network of legal aid programs that solely operate using federal grants? These programs employ paralegals as well as lawyers who can offer free services to anyone who qualifies.
Here are a few of the things legal aid programs can help with:
- Divorce proceedings
- Tenant or landlord issues
- Employment issues
- Miscellaneous legal issues
Getting free legal help is wonderful, however, it’s not always the best option for every situation. For example, if you’re looking to launch a lawsuit against a pharmaceutical company, find a lawyer who specializes in that industry. However, if you have a common legal need, such as a divorce, free legal aid is still a good option, if you qualify.
How to Qualify
If you want to qualify for free legal aid, you’ll have to find out what the income requirements are in your state. To receive the free services, your income will have to be below a specific number. Usually, your income has to be below the poverty line.
Every state has its definition of what qualifies as low income. If you’re not sure if you’d qualify, you can always call a local legal aid office to find out.
Make Payment Plans
If you don’t qualify for free legal help, because your income is too high, then you need to find an attorney that offers payment plans. We suggest looking for a sliding fee program.
Every state has its own set of programs specifically made to help people with legal issues when they have modest incomes. To find a program in your state, you should contact your state bar association.
Talk to Lawyers
We also suggest you call around and speak to lawyers who are local to you. Let them know about your case and your limited budget. Find out if they have any type of payment plans available so you don’t have to pay all of your legal fees at once.
Certain lawyers will lower their prices if you’re willing to help with the case. You might be able to help with the workload a little bit, such as helping with filing certain papers, to lower your costs.
As you call lawyers in your area, find out if any of them will work for a contingency fee. A contingency fee means that you’ll only pay the lawyer if the case ends in your favor. If you win the case, the lawyer will get a percentage of your award money.
If you lose the case, you don’t have to pay any lawyer fees. If you find an attorney that will agree to a contingency fee, find out how much they will be charging. What percentage of your winnings will they expect you to give over?
Next, take your time, and shop around to find the best deal. However, remember, it’s not always about getting the lowest price. Instead, you’ll want to focus on finding affordable, qualified attorneys, who specialize in what you need.
Local Pro Bono Programs
If you don’t qualify for federally funded legal aid programs, check out your local bar associations. It’s common for bar associations to have pro bono programs, where you can get lawyers to perform free work.
You can also check out any nonprofits in your area who dedicate themselves to helping those in need. Simply go online, and search local pro bono programs. if you don’t want to search online, you can contact your legal aid office to get a referral.
How to Qualify for Pro Bono
To qualify for pro bono programs your income will have to be below a certain amount. However, instead of needing to be below the poverty line, certain pro bono programs will allow you to have a slightly higher income.
You might also find that your local bar associations offer programs that can reduce your legal fees instead of eliminating them. For example, you might get to enjoy a free initial consultation with a qualified attorney.
Private Law Firms
It’s a good idea to check out private law firms too because they usually have pro bono departments. It’s common for private law firms to focus on issues that are specific to their community. If you’re dealing with a civil rights issue, or police misconduct, or a suit against the government, a private law firm could be your best option.
Are you the defendant in your criminal case? Remember, you always have the right to an attorney. If you’re not able to hire a private attorney on your own, you could qualify to get a court-appointed defense attorney.
How to Qualify for a Court-Appointed Lawyer
To find out if you qualify for a court-appointed lawyer, you’ll need to be able to prove your income. If your income reflects that you’re not able to afford legal services on your own, you’re likely to qualify for free help.
When you appear in front of the judge, they will ask if you’d like legal representation. If you say no, they are going to ask if you want a court-appointed attorney. Once they find an attorney for you, the next steps towards handling your case will vary depending on what state you live in.
Knowledge Is Power
There you go! The top tips for finding an attorney who can work with your budget. What method are you going to pursue to find your lawyer?
We hope that our article was able to give you the answers you deserve. After all, when it comes to legal issues, knowledge is the ultimate power. For more ways to get the upper hand on your case, check out the rest of this site!