Suits and Bills—A Guide to Affording a Lawyer

Suits and Bills—A Guide to Affording a Lawyer
  • Opening Intro -

    If there's one thing that's associated with lawyers its high legal expense.

    Question is how to reduce the cost but retain the service.


It’s true, getting representation in court doesn’t always come cheap. Many lawyers work at an hourly rate, and that can get exorbitantly expensive fast. However, what if you need legal representation but don’t have a lot of money to spend on a lawyer? Thankfully, there are a few options for you to obtain the legal representation you need without going into debt to pay for it.

Court Appointed Lawyers

In certain kinds of cases, you will be appointed a lawyer by the court if you cannot afford to pay for one on your own. This applies for defendants in criminal cases.

If you have been charged with a crime, the law demands that you have competent legal representation regardless of your ability to pay. If you can prove to the court you can’t afford an attorney, the court will appoint one for you.

Contingency Fees

Another way to get a good lawyer when you don’t have the money to afford one is to obtain an attorney that is willing to work on a contingency basis. Such a lawyer does not receive an hourly rate but instead will be paid via a contingency fee if the case is decided or settled in your favor.

The payment is taken from the cash settlement or judgment. Personal injury lawyers and some auto accident injury attorney services may be able to be obtained in this way.

Pro Bono Legal Work

There is also the possibility you may be able to obtain a lawyer that is willing to work “pro bono.” Pro bono refers to “pro bono publico.” This is a Latin phrase that refers to legal work done voluntarily for no payment. There are bar associations and non-profit organizations that provide lawyers to clients in need for certain kinds of cases. For example, if you are suing over a civil rights violation by your employer, you may be able to find a pro bono lawyer from a non-profit.

other valuable tips:

Payment Plans

If you can’t obtain a lawyer in the three ways listed above, many lawyers are willing to work with you to devise a payment plan you’ll be able to handle. Instead of paying all the fees when they’re accrued, he or she may allow you to make monthly payments in an amount you can afford.

Lawyers can sometimes be very expensive. Still, there are many scenarios in which people with poor finances need legal assistance. Try the four strategies outlined above if you don’t think you have enough money for a lawyer.

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Consumer Tips reference:

GUIDE: steps in planning a budget


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