Low-Cost Legal Help: Alternatives to Lawyers
Whether you're making a will, signing a lease, or facing a DUI charge, sometimes you need a lawyer, but lack the means to hire one. In such circumstances, legal aid is meant to provide you with the low-cost legal help you need. In practice, however, the stringent requirements often exclude many people who can't otherwise pay for an attorney.
So what can you do if you don't qualify for legal aid but can't afford the high price of legal work? Fortunately, there are a number of low-cost legal help alternatives to hiring an attorney, such as legal services plans and do-it-yourself legal forms.
Finding the right lawyer can be a time-consuming and expensive process, requiring you to do online research and then make multiple appointments with different firms. Many lawyers understand this and, in turn, offer free consultations. That means your first appointment will be free of charge.
A consultation will give you a better idea of the lawyer's practice approach and the amount of work your case will require, or whether you have a legal case at all. In some instances, for example, you may find that you can handle the problem on your own, or that your case isn't as strong as you thought. Of course, after the free consultation you'll have to pay if you continue to use the lawyer's services. However, a free consultation can help you save money while getting the ball rolling in the right direction.
Our FindLaw Lawyer Directory lists attorneys and law offices that offer free consultations, making it easy for you to find a local attorney who will give you a first appointment free of charge.
Do-It-Yourself Legal Forms
In the past, if you needed legal work done, you had to hire an attorney. Now, however, you can handle many of your basic legal needs on your own by using do-it-yourself legal forms available for purchase online. All you need to do is fill in the legal forms with your specific information, as directed, and file them with the appropriate offices or officials.
Whether you need to create a will, file for divorce, sell your home, or declare bankruptcy, do-it-yourself legal forms can help you get it done at a fraction of the cost. Pre-drafted legal forms can also save your business time and money. The forms make forming a business, complying with regulations, protecting your intellectual property, or hiring workers an affordable legal undertaking. They can provide reliable and low-cost legal help in certain situations.
In legal matters where you don't feel comfortable representing yourself, but are still interested in finding low-cost legal services, you can save a significant amount of money by filling out your own forms and then using an attorney to review the completed forms.
Of course, if the issues involved in your case are particularly complicated, you'll need to consult with an attorney. For example, if you're going through a contentious divorce, involving children or a property dispute, you'll want to have an attorney on your side.