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Everybody in the US has a right to counsel. It’s why you are told when you are in trouble that if you cannot afford a lawyer, when will be appointed to you. Ideally, you will never be sure you’ll be in trouble, however it does happen to the best of people and you need to know what your rights are. The problem with the right to counsel is that it only extends to criminal matters. So, if your matter is not criminal but civil, you do not have a right to counsel and you will have to pay for it.

It’s one thing to contact bail bonds if you need a lawyer for a criminal matter. But how are you supposed to afford one if your matter is civil or you need to sue somebody? If you can’t afford legal fees the good news is that there are options. Knowing what these options I can get you out of trouble financially when you have some legal issues going on in your life. Here are some tips to consider.

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  • Find somebody who does pro bono work. Pro bono is the Latin phrase that means work undertaken for free – without payment. Almost all out there understand and use this term to reflect any legal/medical work that is done for free. You can find a law firm – especially a large law firm – that will have a pro bono department. If you can approach them with your problem, you could find out whether or not they offer pro bono work for your particular legal issue.
  • Seek help for your fees. If you can’t find anybody to do the work for you pro bono, the best thing that you can do is seek the right help to pay your legal fees. The good news is that there are several places that can help you, from public interest groups where you can reach out to those who work around certain matters relating to your issue.  You can even ask bar associations and law schools for help. Bar associations will often offer you representation when you can’t afford it. You just need to ask for a free or low-cost referral. Law students are often encouraged to take on clients under the supervision of the teachers. So going to a little school to find out if they will help is a good idea. 
  • Ask your friends and family. If you have somebody in your life that you can ask for financial help, they might be a good resource for you to be able to get some help that you need for your fees. Of course, this will largely depend on the issue that you are having, as some of your family may not be able to help you with criminal legal fees as they can rack up into the thousands.

Paying your legal fees is non negotiable. Get the best advice before you pursue a civil case and go through the process.