Finding yourself in the position where you need legal services is usually not a good thing. It can be a stressful period, and finding a way to pay for it can add to that stress. Sometimes you need the aid of a legal service but there is absolutely no way you can afford it. For those times there are types of free legal services that can be used.
Types of Free Legal Services
Law School Clinics
A vastly underused service, a law school clinic is a great option for people who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. A law school clinic consists of law students who provide free legal services for those who cannot afford other help. These law students work under the eye of an attorney, who is usually their clinical professor. Through these law clinics, students can get the hands on experience the need while providing a free service to people in need. The only downside is that clinics usually specialize in particular areas of interest. In order to find a clinic that can take on your case a little research might be involved but if you meet their requirements they can take you on as a client for free.
Public defenders are probably the most known free legal service. A public defender is appointed to anyone who is accused of a crime and cannot afford their own lawyer. Public defenders are appointed to anyone who’s liberty is in jeopardy. A public defender is assigned to a defendant’s case from the beginning to the first appeal if they lose the case. Public defenders although available only to the accused, are free and do not require meeting any other requirements.
Legal Aid Clinics
Similar to law school clinics, legal aid clinics offer free services to those who cannot afford to pay for one. These clinics are usually funded by the government. These organizations and attorneys usually only take on cases involving the impoverished and poor. Since the funds they receive are limited, the amount of cases they can take on are as well. It can be hard to find a clinic that has the time and money to take on a case, but if you think you might meet the requiremetns, they can be a useful service to consider.
Personal Injury Attorneys
There are personal injury lawyers who work on a contingency fee basis, meaning that you only by them if your case wins. If you have been injured and are considering a lawsuit, but cannot afford to hire a lawyer, there are personal injury lawyers who will take on your case. The cases they take on are usually ones that they believe have a high chance of winning. An upside to using a personal injury attorney on a contingency fee basis is that if they decide to take you on, they believe that your case will win. That means that you won’t be out any money, and most likely will win if they decide to take you on. If your case the wins the normal fee is 30-40%, but this can change from attorney to attorney.
Social Justice Organizations
If you have a case involving a social justice issue, there are lawyers and attorneys who will take on your case. These cases go beyond just your case and extend into a bigger issue that can affect the whole community and not just you. These issues could be sexual harassment at work or racial discrimination. There are many organizations that provide free services to people with a case concerning a social justice issue.
There are private attorneys who side aside some of their time to work on legal cases for free. The time is usually reserved for people who meet specific requirements including a low-income level. There are pro bono programs that have different requirements and each attorney will be different. A lawyer working pro bono is one of the better options because you will be receiving high-quality service from a private attorney as if you had paid for them yourself. If you meet the requirements to get taken on as a client this is the option to go with.
Legal services can get extremely expensive. The money that it takes to hire services can get high and only a limited number of people can afford them. Luckily there are several free legal services out there that can help those who cannot afford to hire a private attorney. These options, although full of specific requirements, are perfect for impoverished and poor people who find themselves in a situation where they cannot afford legal aid. If your find yourself in a situation that requires legal attention, look into these free legal services. There could be one with requirements you meet that can help you during this stressful time.