Feb 28

What to do When You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

There are times in life when everyone needs legal advice, because there are just times in life when circumstances change and people need a hand protecting themselves and choosing the right source of action as they move forward. Generally speaking, when these circumstances arise it is just a fact of life that people will incur some fairly substantial expenses as they work to resolve their legal situations.

Sometimes, though, it’s just not possible. Sometimes, you face legal situations and you just do not have the money to retain a lawyer, at least not right away. When that happens, you need to know where to go to access the resources that can help you resolve your situation. Whether that situation is criminal, civil, or related to contracts and documents like he purchase and sale of real estate, wills, and trusts, knowing how to get the right advice is the key to knowing how to move forward when you can’t afford to just hire a lawyer to help you.

Informational Sites


The first thing to do is to educate yourself. There are a variety of sites like FindLaw and NOLO that provide information on variety of personal law topics, and if you read through them, you will find that they are written to be accessible to the average person. There are also government sites that explain specific laws, but these can occasionally be more difficult to parse.

Legal Clinics


It’s also possible to find legal aid resources. These can include lawyers who take cases on pro bono, but more often they appear in the form of legal clinics that can put you in touch with knowledgeable people who can help you to understand your various options. They are not available everywhere, and sometimes there are income restrictions, but they are available for those who qualify.



There are also legal advice lines that provide free legal advice to those who are trying to understand their options. They can let you know if you need a lawyer, if you have a case, and what your best courses of action to resolve your legal difficulties will be. After they help you sort through the various options open to you, they can also help you connect with lawyers if you need to do so.

When you can’t afford legal help, there are not a lot of opportunities available to you, but luckily there are some organizations that have dedicated themselves to a business structure that makes it possible for everyone to access legal advice when they need it.