Low and No-Cost Options for Legal Representation
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There are a number of low-cost/no-cost options available. If you are charged with a crime, you have the right to attorney representation, whether or not you can personally afford it. If you can’t afford an attorney, one will be appointed for you. This is required under the U.S. Constitution. Public defenders represent clients as vigorously and competently as private, for-pay, attorneys.
There is no right to a free attorney in civil matters. There are, however, Legal Aid offices in most large communities that offer low-cost/no-cost legal services to people who can’t afford to pay (you may have to go through a financial screening process). In addition, many law firms take cases on a pro bono basis to clients (if you can show neediness), depending on the circumstances of the case. For information on how to find legal aid services in your area, contact your local bar association or county court house. You can also check your local yellow pages under “legal aid,” “legal services,” or “legal assistance.”
Certain rights groups might want to get involved in your case, especially if your case involves a large class of people. A simple Google search using keywords that most widely represent your legal issue, along with the search term “class action” may help you find a class of like-injured parties to join.