UNITED STATES—When you get a lawyer, the main goal is to avoid losing money through an ex-spouse, adversary, or parties trying to sue you. Usually, getting legal help in California demands that you have the budget for it. Unfortunately, this isn’t always possible. Luckily, there are a few ways to get legal help for free. Here are a few of them.
1. Free Lawyer Consultations
Seeking free consultation from lawyers may be a good idea as well. You may speak to them on the phone or through videoconference. Even though you may not get much from a free consultation, you’ll get enough information to make better choices. It doesn’t need to be a long consultation. Fifteen minutes may be enough to get all the essential information.
2. Reach Out to the City Courthouse
Consider reaching out to your city courthouse, and you may get some help. This is especially helpful when dealing with divorce. Some courts may go as far as giving you free help with uncontested divorce cases.
If you don’t have a lawyer, even for other cases, going to a courthouse is one of the most logical things to do. Plenty of people cannot afford a lawyer, and your local courthouse should know what to do.
3. Refer to Online Resources
The internet has answers to everything. It could help you find resources to get free legal help. There are plenty of online lawyer-referral services. They can help you find lawyers close to you that are willing to work pro-bono.
If you don’t qualify for free services from these lawyers, they may refer you to other sources. They can give you plenty of free legal information. Some lawyers will help with the most important parts of your case and let you handle what’s left. According to FreeAdvice, the internet is one of the best places to seek free legal advice.
4. Legal Aid Societies
Non-profit organizations and legal aid societies are all over California, and they may give you some free legal help. They are most likely to help low-income and vulnerable people. Qualifying for legal aid requires a lot. Even when you have low income, you don’t automatically receive it. While you may not qualify for their help, it wouldn’t hurt to try.
5. Prepaid Legal Services Plans
If you belong to a prepaid legal services plan, it may give you access to free legal help. Most people belong to these plans through their credit union, employer, or union. The basic plans offer consultation and legal advice on the phone.
However, you may go to the office for a brief consultation. The lawyers may help you review legal documents, communicate with the other party’s lawyer, draft a will, or write a short formal letter.
If you have a plan, take note of what it covers and ask questions if necessary. Don’t assume that it covers everything. If you aren’t confident in the lawyer provided through your plan, find out if you can have a different one. Ensure that you are getting the best representation.
If you are looking for free legal help and consultation in California, there are many places to look. They include your local courthouse, law school, the internet, and legal aid societies. Lack of finances doesn’t mean you can’t get legal help.