Most of us need legal help at some point in our lives. Whether we hire an attorney to help us file for divorce or provide legal assistance when buying or selling a property, there are some areas of the law where it is dangerous to do it yourself. Many people put off this difficult decision because they know an attorney will be expensive. But if you are being sued by a client or your ex-partner is doing their best to leave you financially ruined, you may not have much choice.
Here are your options if you don’t have much cash to spend.
Rely on a Court Appointed Attorney
If you are facing criminal charges, the legal system will appoint you a defense attorney if you can’t afford to hire someone. This is not ideal if you are facing serious criminal charges, but it is better than you trying to represent yourself in court, or even worse, doing nothing. State-appointed attorneys are often overworked and underpaid, so they don’t always do the best job. But listen to their advice and make your own judgment. They are there to help you.
For civil cases, there isn’t any help unless you go looking for it. Here are your options if you are being sued or in a spot of legal bother.
Also Read : How To Become A Personal Injury Lawyer
Ask Friends and Family
We are not suggesting you take legal advice from Uncle Frank, as his advice is probably not very helpful, but ask around as you may have a lawyer, paralegal or law student in your wider circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. These people might be able to give you some pertinent advice or point you in the direction of someone who can.
Try Small Claims Court
If a friend or business partner owes you money or similar, it is worth trying the small claims court. For smaller amounts, the process is cost effective and easy to navigate. On the downside, there is an upper limit on how much you can be awarded if you win your case.
Speak to a Legal Clinic
Legal clinics are not-for-profit organizations that help people on low incomes with legal problems. They are typically staffed by law students and big-hearted lawyers trying to help people get the help they need. If you are on a low income, you may qualify for legal aid. Even if you don’t, you may still have access to help if the people staffing the clinic feel your case has merit.
Look for Cost Effective Legal Assistance
Big law firms charge big bucks. They have to do this to cover their own exorbitant costs. You can expect to pay several hundred dollars an hour for a top attorney. But, there are cheaper options. Use online legal services such as LegalZoom. These are a cost-effective alternative if you need to incorporate a business, create a will, or similar.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to approach more expensive lawyers who do pro bono work. If your case has merit, they may be willing to take it on. Speak to your local bar association for recommendations.