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One of the questions that you probably have never considered is how you will be able to afford to obtain legal advice if you ever found yourself in trouble. When you normally hire an attorney to work on your behalf, it’s usually to help protect yourself from financial ruin.
Sometimes, this is due to a marital breakdown where an ex is about to have you soaked financially. Other times, you could be being sued by someone in the same business arena that you are in.
It’s common knowledge that in order to make money, you have to be willing to invest, whether that’s investing in real estate, the stock market, or simply investing in yourself and your future by furthering your education.
But not many realize that some financial risks can end up costing you a lot of money in the end. I’m going to break down 5 ways to get legal advice when you have little or no money. There are pros and cons to each, and you must know these before you make what could be a costly mistake.
Lawyers are there to protect your assets and work on your behalf to ensure that you don’t come off worse in a court fight. If you have ever found yourself at the mercy of a criminal case, companies like LawJRC.com can work for you to fight your corner and make sure that you aren’t going to find yourself in financial ruin while defending yourself. If you can’t afford a lawyer to come onto your case, you can be appointed legal assistance by the court, as everyone has a right to a fair trial. In civil cases, though, such as a breakdown of a marriage or being sued as we mentioned earlier, you need to think outside the box. It’s not like you would be putting away cash every month just in case you need legal help later on. Ideally, you’d have savings being slowly built up with your job anyway so that you can fall back on them in times of need. So, with all that in mind, what are your options for legal help when you don’t have two cents to rub together?
There are plenty of legal aid societies that are in every town across the country. They can provide free legal advice for those on a very low income and who cannot afford the extra money on legal help. It’s worth having a look into, but you should know that your income as a household is assessed to decide whether you can even receive legal aid. Much of the time, your home income can be too much, and you can be turned down. Not every person will be given legal aid help on a low income, either, and this article can give you more information about whether you can receive the help that you need when you need it.
Law School Legal Advice Options
While the ideal is that you can hire a fully-fledged, experienced lawyer to take on your case, you don’t have too many options when your income is low. Law students are probably the most enthusiastic people to turn to when you need representation. They are up to date on all the latest laws and rules, meaning that you are getting the expertise of a trainee but with all the knowledge of an experienced lawyer. Students are generally certified to practice with the permission of a qualified faculty member, which means that they are working under the guidance of someone experienced when they take on your case. Check the individual laws in your state, though, because not everywhere will allow someone to hire a student during a criminal case.
Pro Bono Requests. It may feel like a long shot, but if you start calling around the county or state bar association, you can speak to those who have a pro bono ticket free in their office. Some law offices have ongoing pro bono projects and will take on a percentage of these through the year, and it will really depend on your state and how they feel about taking on your case. It will differ across the country, but generally, pro-bono cases are taken on based on their attention and gravity, so there is no harm in calling and asking. You can only be told no, after all.
Small Cases Need Small Claims
Obviously, a small claims court isn’t suitable in a criminal case or during a divorce, but if you are owed money by someone or the case is a minor dispute, you could take your case to a small claims court. These smaller disputes won’t need the help of a lawyer at all, as you can represent yourself and save yourself the money. This will make a huge difference to you when you need help but can’t afford it. Again, state rules vary when it comes to how much you can be awarded in a small claims court, so make sure you do your research based on your state first.
There is no lawyer in the world that will suggest that you should do this unless you are a retired legal advisor yourself. You can often do more harm than good in representing yourself in court because you just don’t have the ins and outs knowledge of the legal system or all the legal loopholes involved. You can, however, visit the courtroom and get to know the proceedings and how the law works, as well as do your own research. There are plenty of cases where people are successful in representing themselves, but for every one of those cases, there are others where the person is more exposed because they simply do not have the right knowledge.
Before you hire anyone to work on your behalf during your case or obtain legal advice, you need to interview different lawyers and get to know the right person for you. It’s totally your choice, and you should ensure that you speak to the right people to ensure that the choice that you make is a person in good standing. As with any hire, references matter a great deal, and you should also tour the offices of your lawyer. The office of your attorney says a lot about them, and you should get the right impression before you spend what little money that you do have. Make a careful choice and you won’t be letting yourself down in court.
I’ve done all the things! Girl, I’ve washed my face. I’ve trashed everything that doesn’t spark joy. I’ve walked the baby steps. I’ve cried. I’ve prayed, but my perfectionism has really held me back.
Perfection Hangover can be crippling. Stop comparing yourself to others and start living your best life! That’s why PH exists! I want to encourage you to take control of your money, your blog, and your business.