Sometimes you can qualify for free legal help. Below are four situations in which you may be able to get an attorney to represent you for free:
- If you face criminal charges – If you have been charged with a crime and you cannot afford an attorney, you may have the right to an attorney at the government’s expense. An attorney, usually from the public defender’s office, will be appointed to represent you when you are formally charged in court with a criminal offense.
- If you qualify for legal aid – If you can’t afford a lawyer, the legal aid office can help you for free. Legal aid lawyers are state or federally funded lawyers. They offer help for some legal situations (e.g., eviction defense, denial of employment compensation or other benefits, and consumer credit problems). Local law schools may have law “clinics” where law students take on cases as a service and learning experience.
- If you have a social justice claim – Sometimes you can find a lawyer willing to work “pro bono” (for no fee). If your case has implications beyond your individual situation, an attorney or an organization with an interest in that issue may represent you. Typical kinds of cases are: sexual harassment, spousal abuse, discrimination in work or housing, environmental pollution or access to medial treatment.
- If you have been injured – When you are injured through no fault of your own, lawyers often agree to take your case on a contingency fee basis. The lawyer’s fee is a percentage of what you get if you win and no fee if you loose your case. Be aware that you have to pay costs (such as filing fees) in any case. Sometimes, though, the court may order the losing side to pay your costs.
LegalMatch cannot obtain free legal help for you nor can the LegalMatch online matching service match you with a Pro Bono lawyer; however the two organizations below may be able to assist you in obtaining free legal help: