Gaining access to proper legal representation and advice can be extremely valuable in certain situations. For example, during criminal cases, an attorney is appointed for you if you are unable to afford one yourself. However, that’s not the case if you need legal advisement or representation in most other situations.

It’s difficult to understand how obtaining legal aid and advice can be rather rough on the wallet; after all, this can be a distressing time of need but you’re forced to work within a small budget. Oftentimes you’ll need to get creative to procure the legal assistance that you need, but fear not, there are some helpful resources available to you. Below we’ll take a deeper look into those options and figure out how you can obtain legal advice for low income, with little to no money.

Legal Aid Societies

There are non-profit organizations spread out all over the country, known as Legal Aid Societies, which can help individuals by providing free legal services to people who fall into the low-income bracket. There are income limitations, however, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth your while to check out. Head over to the American Bar Association website to find more information on possible legal aid that could be available to you.

Law School

Depending on your particular legal situation, it may be possible for you to seek assistance from your local law school as these schools will oftentimes have free legal clinics. In most cases, you’ll be receiving assistance from a lawyer that is still a student in school, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t lawfully capable of helping you while under the guidance and supervision of a faculty member who is a practicing attorney. Reach out to your local law school or Bar Association to learn more about what’s available to you.

Utilize Small Claims Court

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to utilize small claims court in every case, but if it does pertain to your situation it can be incredibly helpful in avoiding legal fees over a smaller dispute. Contact your local state small claims court to figure out what type of monetary restrictions there are.

Prepaid Legal Service Plans

Prepaid legal service plans can work a few different ways. As it turns out, there’s a chance that you may already be a part of one through your employer. While legal service plans don’t generally offer representation in court, they can assist you with the following:

  • Assistance in and preparation of certain legal documents, such as a will.
  • Legal advice via phone, in-office, and email
  • Legal documents
  • Quick assistance in communication with another party
  • Review of legal documentation

You can receive plans from sources other than your employer as well. It’s important to mention that you should be careful to choose a plan that operates within your budget, covers your needs, and works within the time restraints that you plan to use it. I recommend visiting the American Bar Association’s website for further information regarding prepaid legal service plans available to you.

Speak to Your States Bar Association

By sampling by contacting the State Bar Association, you may find local pro bono legal help or legal aid assistance at a reduced fee. It’s definitely something you’re going to want to check into.

Dispute Resolution Programs

Certain situations can be resolved outside of the court and this is known as dispute resolution or mediation. Oftentimes, these helpful services are available at little or no cost to you thanks in part to non-profit organizations. Always remember to check with your state’s local bar association if you need assistance in finding a program that can help you. Utilizing a resource like this will not only save you time, but your bank account will appreciate it too.

Public Interest or Nonprofit Groups

It may be possible to seek assistance through local nonprofit or public interest organizations or groups. These groups can be a huge help if your problem has anything to do with civil liberties or discrimination.

Government Agencies

You may be able to seek assistance through a government agency depending on your situation. In most cases, you can find assistance in the area of alimony collection, child support collection, and defense as long as you’re being charged with a crime.