Have you ever tried to get legal advice? Where do you even start? Try to get a lawyer on the phone, or heck, try to even afford one! Believe it or not, some lawyers charge over $1,000 per hour. What?!
Hold up – plenty of other options exist:
1. Lots of lawyers are contingency fee lawyers. This means they get paid only if they win your lawsuit. For example, personal injury lawyers (you know, the ones you see on the TV commercials) are contingency fee lawyers. So are class action lawyers, like me.
2. Lawyers who handle other types of cases tend to charge by the hour, and that can get expensive. So let’s consider this: most cities have what’s called a ‘legal aid society.’ That’s a group whose volunteers provide (free of charge!) high-quality legal services to low-income and vulnerable people.
3. Also, a lot of law schools have legal clinics. These are like a law firm within the law school, and they, too, represent clients who can’t afford to hire their own lawyers.
4. Next, if you have a consumer problem, you can always call the consumer protection division of your state attorney general. Their job is to protect citizens from predatory and illegal business practices.
5. If you want a reasonably priced private attorney, rather than just Googling for a lawyer, use a website like superlawyers.com or avvo.com. Just plug in your legal issue and city, and the website pulls up a list of qualified lawyers who you can consider. What’s really important is that these websites vet their listings, which means that the results aren’t left to chance–they’ve already been looked at for quality.
6. Finally, there’s word of mouth. Ask your friends if they’ve worked with a lawyer. A good recommendation often goes a long way.
Just like I hope you won’t need an auto mechanic, I hope you won’t need a lawyer. But, if you do, now you know some good ways to find one.
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