The Need for Affordable Legal Services
Finding affordable legal services is a challenge for a lot of people. Even many wealthy people struggle with whether or not certain legal services will even be cost-effective for them in certain situations. For people without a lot of financial resources, finding affordable legal services seems like a hopeless cause. It’s estimated that a full eighty percent of the legal services of poor people are unfulfilled. Fifty percent of the legal needs of middle-class people are similarly unfulfilled. However, there are solutions available for both groups.
Non-Profit Law Firms
Today, there are more and more non-profit law firms available. This is partly a consequence of the tremendous oversupply of law school graduates. There are too many people going to law school and not enough jobs for all of them. Law school graduates have so much debt that they really need to work in their field, and many of them would want to do so anyway. Non-profit law firms provide job opportunities for the huge numbers of unemployed or underemployed law school graduates.
Given the number of poor people and middle-class people who need legal representation, non-profit law firms can still usually make enough money to operate even though their attorneys will not charge poor clients hundreds of dollars an hour for their services. Non-profit law firms will typically charge based on a sliding scale according to the needs of their clients. It’s possible to find lawyers who will charge around seventy-five dollars an hour. As such, people who don’t have a lot of money to spare can still get the legal representation that they need.
Pro Bono Programs
The American Bar Association actually has a directory for pro bono programs that people can use. The availability of pro bono programs will certainly vary depending upon a person’s location and state. However, a lot of people should still be able to find programs that will work for them. Volunteer attorneys and volunteers will typically keep these programs running. People who are looking for affordable legal services will typically turn to pro bono programs.
In some cases, people with legal problems should be sure to find specific programs that are geared towards their problems if they’re looking for affordable legal services. For instance, people who are dealing with something related to cancer might want to get in touch with The Cancer Legal Resource Center (CLRC).
The Divorce Helpline is there for the people who might just need some mediation services and some legal guidance. The Eviction Defense Network is for people who might be facing eviction, which is a problem that plenty of poor and middle-class people will face at different points.
The availability of programs like this will certainly vary according to the state and the specific location within the state. Some of these programs operate on a national level. However, others are much more local and they depend on people being local. However, it should still be possible for people to get the help that they need from programs like these in many cases. Specialized legal care can be more effective for the people who are in the market for affordable legal services. The American Bar Association has a list of services like this, and people should be able to narrow down some of their options from there.
Evaluating Affordable Legal Services
It’s always a good idea to do a lot of research on affordable legal services. While there are plenty of legitimate programs out there, including legitimate non-profit law firms, there are also plenty of sub-standard services that will not give people the legal representation that they deserve. Doing a lot of research on these programs in advance can make a big difference for the people who are trying to get the most out of the money that they can spend.
There are plenty of struggling lawyers these days, which is actually somewhat beneficial for the people who need affordable legal services. Lawyers are increasingly willing to work for relatively low wages. There are no guarantees when it comes to almost anything involving the law. People need to evaluate their options carefully in order to really get what they need.