Finding Legal Aid: What You Should Know

Providing Legal Aid to the Financially Challenged

Legal aid by definition is a legal attorney or clinic that's full purpose is to serve those who are financially challenged and in need of legal help. Most legal aid clinics access the financial situation of an individual seeking help to see if they qualify for the law help at no cost. The most common types of law when it comes to legal aid cases are family law (custody, child support, domestic violence), landlord-tenant cases, public benefit assistance programs, and in some cases special education. Most legal aid clinics can help refer you to an attorney that can help if they are unable to assist you. You can find lawyer referral services like this one by doing a search online.

Pro bono attorneys services help people who cannot afford lawyers' fees. The legal aid by skilled legal professionals assists marginalized and minority communities. As part of community services, pro bono attorneys can represent people who cannot access justice because of inadequate finances. The disadvantaged citizens include the elderly, children, low-income earners, and unemployed people. In the United States, pro bono lawyers websites, such as the American Bar Association (ABA) and referral services such as this one, can help to link people lacking legal fees with the lawyers who provide free legal advice or services.

Private Lawyers Pro Bono Assistance

A private lawyer can also accept a pro bono case, meaning that the legal officer will not get pay from the client or the attorney is willing to take a low cost case. Pro bono issues do not necessarily revolve around litigation or defense. The-free-of-charge legal experts sometimes devote their time and financial resources to improve or draft a law for the public good. Lobbying for the repeal, amendment, or legislation of law is part of pro bono services. It is not uncommon to find legal professionals contributing finances to organizations that assist the marginalized while promoting the pro bono principle.

ABA on Pro Bono Requirements

The American Bar Association estimates that the citizens requiring pro bono services, or the low and moderate-income segment, constitutes 40 percent of the U.S. households. However, only 20 percent of the people deserving the pro bono legal aid get the free legal assistance. Under the ABA Model Rule 6.1, a lawyer is obliged to offer at least 50 hours of free legal services every year.

Pro Bono Opportunities

Pro bono attorneys offering free legal aid acquire a lot of experience on how to handle complex litigation cases. Local bar organizations, as well as state bar associations, provide pro bono committees through which lawyers volunteer for pro bono work. For example, advocates who specialize in personal injury law will handle compensation damage claims case. The ABA's Volunteer Legal Project has opportunities for pro bono volunteerism. The military pro bono assistance is for active duty officers. A case can get to a pro bono lawyer if the underprivileged client lifestyle is below the federal poverty level income of $24,000 for a four-member family.

Types of Legal Aid Attorneys

  • Personal Injury Attorneys - Personal injury attorneys help individuals who have sustained injuries in an accident and need financial compensation to recover. This compensation can cover things like medical treatment, loss wages, pain and suffering, and compensation for the injuries suffered. The types of accidents involved with these cases can include car accidents, slip and fall accidents, injury in the workplace and medical malpractice. Some personal injury attorneys provide pro bono services. Find out if there is a personal injury attorney that provides legal help near you by searching here.

  • Family Law Attorneys - Most family law attorneys help individuals that are involved in a divorce or issues related to a divorce. Most divorce cases involve issues such as determining division of marital property, child support, child custody, and alimony. Family law attorneys also help draft prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements. Divorce lawyers are a subset of family law. If you're unsure if your case falls under family law or if you need legal aid for a family law case, check out this page for more resources about family law cases and locating legal aid near you.

  • Criminal Attorneys - Most criminal lawyers handle cases involving individuals who face charges in federal, state or appellate courts. A criminal attorney's scope of practice includes but not limited to bail bond hearings, plea bargains, trial, parole hearings, probation hearings, appeal remedies, and post conviction remedies. For more resources about criminal attorneys that provide legal aid, make sure to check out this helpful resource.

  • Malpractice Attorneys - Malpractice legal attorneys cover a wide array of cases. Most malpractice cases include but are not limited to misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, failure to give treatment, errors during surgery, injuries sustained during a birth or birthing, and medical product liability. Many cases of medical negligence go unnoticed year after year due to patients that are unsure if their specific situation was a result of medical negligence. It is best to seek out the help of a malpractice attorney if you feel you have suffered from malpractice. If you're unable to pay for a legal attorney, there are many resources available as far as pro bono or legal aid malpractice attorneys. Unsure if there is a legal aid malpractice attorney near you, check out this resource for more information.


Free Attorneys and Legal Consultations

The purpose of free or no cost attorney clinics is to provide brief one-on-one instruction & assistance to those who cannot afford legal representation. Legal volunteers cannot file for you or appear in court on your behalf. If you're unable to afford an attorney, but still need legal representation or even have questions about your legal rights, you can get free legal aid. These free legal attorney clinics have attorneys who work pro bono, meaning "for the public good", or without charge. They can help you with any legal problems relating to housing, family law, bankruptcy, disability and the workplace, immigration, and criminal cases. Make sure to do a search on free attorneys available to help you in your area.

Find Legal Attorneys by Zip

You may find yourself in need of legal help but not sure where to turn. Luckily there are multiple resources you can look to when searching for a reputable and experience lawyer. Some resources even have the capability to search by your zip code so you can be matched with an attorney near you. Lawyer referral services can also be found by doing a quick search on one of the many internet search engines. Lawyer referral services such as this site, are able to find lawyers near you by using your zip code.


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