5 Ways to get Legal Help on a Budget

When problems requiring legal advice arise, it can seem overwhelming. It can be difficult to know what to do, the knowledge can seem inaccessible, and the potential consequences of a misstep can be severe. Luckily, there are a lot of convenient, low-cost options to turn for help when you need a qualified source of legal information.

1. Contact a Local Law School

One thing a lot of people don’t know is that law schools often have legal resources available to the general public. Law students can give legal advice and work on cases under the supervision of a professor and are eager to get real world experience. They will also have plenty of time to work on your case because you will likely be their only client, so it is a win-win situation for both you and the student. The laws regarding student involvement in legal cases vary from state to state, so be sure to look up the laws in your area.

2. Consider Representing Yourself

While tackling a legal matter on your own can seem daunting, it is sometimes a good option. In the modern age of the internet, most laws and regulations can be accessed by anybody with a computer or smartphone. It will take time to conduct the needed research and you may run into dead ends that force you to start your search over, but minor legal issues and small claims court cases can be handled effectively with independent research. If your legal problem is large or complex, consider seeking professional advice.

3. Utilize Legal Resources for Specific Groups

There are many privately funded organizations which provide free or low cost legal services for members of certain groups. For example, veterans and active military service members can get free legal advice from statesidelegal.org or find a local military installation with legal assistance offices.

Persons with disabilities can receive legal services from the National Disability Rights Network, which keeps lists of disability advocates in each state. There are also similar databases for senior citizens requiring help with elder law issues or for managing their pensions.

4. Get Recommendations from Your Personal Network

Many people underestimate the reach of their own personal networks. You may already know somebody who knows somebody that can help you with your legal problem! Talking to people you know about the legal advice you need could lead to a reference that puts you in a room with the right person. Even if it doesn’t, talking with others may simply help you narrow down your search to determine what type of attorney or aide your problem requires.

5. Hire an Attorney

Hiring an attorney is a solution that can instantly sound cost-prohibitive to a lot of people. However, there is a wide array of professional attorneys out there and many of them could be well within your budget.

A good first step is to determine what scope of practice your problem requires; do you need a personal injury lawyer or a family law attorney? You can go to www.yourlawyer.com for many different scopes of practice.

Another step you can take is to contact your state bar association. They can recommend specific steps for your legal issue and give you a list of attorneys within your price range. Most attorneys will sit down with you for a free consultation on your problem, so there is no commitment.

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