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A legal aid office is a lawyer or group of lawyers who represent people who would not normally be able to pay for legal services. The majority of offices will only handle civil cases rather than criminal cases, and many do not take on personal injury, bankruptcies, or divorce cases. They will usually represent both plaintiffs and defendants. Legal aid lawyers might receive some government funding and are paid via grants. A pro-bono lawyer will take some cases for free while also working for clients who pay a fee.
What is a Pro Bono Lawyer?
A pro bono lawyer is a lawyer who volunteers their services for free in a range of cases, ranging from truck accident cases to civil and even criminal cases. They will agree to take on all or some of your case at no cost to you, which is different from a legal aid organization, and are paid for their work by funders. In contrast, a pro bono lawyer is not being paid at all.
How to Find a Pro Bono Lawyer:
Pro bono services are offered by both law firms and individual lawyers. There are various ways to look for a pro bono lawyer who may be interested in taking on your case. First of all, you may want to check the Pro Bono Resource Directory, which is maintained by the American Bar Association. You can also contact your local or state bar association to find a lawyer who is willing to take pro bono cases. Your local law school may also be able to help, as law students will often take cases for free to get experience while being supervised by qualified attorneys.
If you cannot find a pro bono lawyer to take on your case, a legal clinic could be an ideal alternative. They are offered by various legal aid organizations and bar associations to provide legal advice and handle the intake for volunteer or pro bono lawyer programs that they provide. However, you may need to meet some criteria to qualify to speak to a lawyer at a legal clinic free of charge. Most will only give legal advice about certain issues, and some are designed specifically to help people who are on a low income. Some are designed for veterans to use.
What Pro Bono Lawyers Expect From You:
A pro bono lawyer or organization is there to help you when you need it the most, and they will require you to cooperate to best help you. There may be several things that are expected from you in order to get assistance. For example, you will be expected to conduct yourself in an appropriate manner when interacting with lawyers and legal staff. You’ll also be expected to respect your pro bono lawyer’s time since they are donating it to help you for free while handling other matters. You’ll also be expected to follow through with your commitments to scheduled appointments and meetings.
If you need legal help but cannot afford a traditional lawyer, a pro bono lawyer might be willing to help you out.