Need for a Pro Bono Family AttorneyFamily Law Attorney, Employing a lawyer can be costly. Not only is retaining an attorney costly, its added stress to an already upsetting time, especially when it comes to family law cases. Anyone who has been through a divorce or child custody battle knows exactly how frustrating these issues are. As much as you might want to keep your family matters private, going through a divorce or child custody case is exactly the time when you need a skilled attorney on your side. In the event that you can't manage the cost of a family attorney, don't freak out, there are options available for you to get the help you need. When it comes to family law cases, it is often the case that one partner or side will have more financial security than the other. Many times the party with little to no financial security can get the court to order that the financially stable partner pays the other's legal fees. If this is the position you find yourself in, make sure you mention this to any legal counselors you contact. If this option does not work, there are other ways of getting legal aid at low cost.
What Are Your Options?Your first step should be to contact your state bar affiliation. Look in your telephone directory or complete an online inquiry. Bar affiliations have an abundance of data about legal counselors or projects, including which lawyers or firms may be offering a discount on services, or pro bono legal aid. Even if you don't find the information you are looking for with the state BAR, they may be able to point you to the resources you need to find the right lawyer to help you. Some state or county bar affiliations have particular projects wherein legal counselors are required to dedicate a portion of their time to pro bono legal representation.
You might also do a quick online search of various lawyer and attorney directories. Some sites, such as Lawyers.FindLaw.com offer search tools that let you narrow your search by state, city, or zipcode. Justia.com is another site that allows you to search for lawyers in your area. These sites, and others like them, can be incredible tools in your lawyer search.
Tips for Finding a Pro Bono Family AttorneyDepending on where you live, there may be privately funded non-profits legal aid in your area that provide specific legal services to a particular population. They may specialize in immigration or landlord tenant law or representing seniors. If in addition to being unable to afford an attorney, if you are disabled, battered, elderly etc, mention this to EVERY agency you speak to. You may be eligible for a pro bono family attorney for which you might not otherwise qualify. If an agency cannot help directly, they may be able to coordinate getting you a family lawyer.Another source of information is your local legal aid office. Most cities and counties have one and their contact information can be found in the phone book or with a simple online search. They may even have a website that provides the information you need to find family lawyers who volunteer their time. Since legal aid is for the assistance of low-income clients, you may have to apply.
If you are unable to find assistance through state and local sources, you can search for non-profit legal services networks that are funded through Federal Grants. These offices provide a wide range of Civil Law services through their staff of experienced attorneys and paralegals. They can help with divorce and custody cases and give you advice on related matters such as property settlements, asset allocation etc.Another option for obtaining the services of a bro bono family attorney (free legal aid from family attorneys) is through you local law school. Many of these schools run legal clinics where you can obtain assistance from law students under the supervision of experienced family attorneys and law professors.