Free Online Legal Advice
There are a number of ways to get free legal advice and the method most suitable for you will of course depend on a number of factors.
A lot of the research can be done online. There are some areas where it is easier to obtain a free or low-priced legal advice than others. These areas include Health law, Human Rights, Prisoners' Rights, Civil Rights, Death Penalty, Consumer Law and Immigration and Asylum Law. If your problem does not involve these areas, don't despair. It doesn't mean that it will be impossible for you to get help, it just mean that it might take a little more research before you find it. There are a large number of lawyers providing free legal advice through different Pro Bono organizations and big portion of them is available online.
There are also legal firms who offer a ‘no win no fee' solution for their clients. The term is used rather freely and can therefore describe a number of different agreements. The basic idea of ‘no win no fee' is that if you win your case, you must reimburse all the expenses that the legal firms has paid for – its own lawyer fees, second opinions, investigations, experts from other fields etc. If you loose, you do not have to pay anything. (Remember however that you might still have to pay damages and the legal costs of you opponent.) There are several other types of ‘no win no fee' agreements available, in some you will have to pay a certain fees even if you loose and in others you might be able to get an even better deal with the law firm than that presented above. It is therefore absolutely imperative that you are sure of understanding the conditions before agreeing to a ‘no win no fee' solution.
Some legal firms offer one free consultation for you before you decide whether you wish to proceed with you case or not. This is a very good service, since many issues can be solved rather easy. Don't hesitate to take advantage of the free legal consultation offered in this manner, since it is always you who decide if you wish to use the firm for more consultation.
If you need legal advice about an issue involving immigration law, but are unable to pay for it, there are several places where you may be able to receive free legal advice. One of them is immigrant support groups or other community service organizations. You can get a list of suitable groups in your area by contacting The Board of Immigration Appeals, which is a part of the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR). One other part of EOIR, The Office of the Chief Immigration Judge, has a list of recognized Free Legal Service Providers for persons in immigration proceedings. These organizations have only indicated a willingness to help out in immigration proceedings, but there is always a small chance that they might be able help you with non-court matters as well, such as visa petitions. The third method is to visit your Immigration field office, since they usually have a list of recognized “pro bono” organizations practising in your area.
According to the Bill of Rights the accused in a criminal prosecution have the right to the assistance of counsel for his defense. If you are a defendant who can't afford to pay your own private criminal defense lawyer chances are high you can qualify for a court-appointed attorney. The government pays for a court-appointed attorney. If you find yourself in this situation you should present the court with details about your financial situation and ask the court to appoint an attorney for you. Each state has its own rules regarding who qualifies for a defense attorney free of charge. Your rights can also depend on the seriousness of the charge. For example, if you are employed but don't make a lot of money the court might decide that you can pay for the legal assistance needed in a simple case concerning a minor crime, but not for the amount of legal aid needed in a complicated case involving a serious crime. The term “partial indigency” means that you will be appointed an attorney by the court, but the judge will require you to reimburse the state for a reasonable part of the costs when the trial is finished.