how to get legal advice in the us without appointing a lawyer.

by Steve Gerlach 4 min read

Contact the city courthouse. Seek free lawyer consultations. Look to legal aid societies. Visit a law school. Contact your county or state bar association.

If you cannot afford a lawyer, legal aid may be able to help you: There are legal aid offices (also called legal services) throughout the United States. Legal aid offices are not-for-profit agencies that provide free legal help to people who cannot afford to hire a lawyer.

Full Answer

Should you accept legal advice from a non-lawyer?

If that advice-giver was giving it as a one-off, and should you choose to accept it, would you call that ‘legal advice’ or ‘legally related advice’ or just ‘advice’? Even if legal advice from a non-lawyer is technically unlawful, it cannot literally apply to every situation in real life.

What do I do if I don't have a lawyer?

Still, whether it's a divorce or you're being taken to court for something else, if you don't have a lawyer, a logical move would be to call the courthouse and ask who they would suggest going to. You think you're the first person who couldn't afford a lawyer?

Where can I go to get legal advice?

The law varies from state to state, and those giving legal advice will often have differing opinions, and may not even be licensed to practice law. That being said, here are a few of the most-popular sites:’s “Ask a Lawyer” service. Post a question and get free advice from multiple lawyers. Questions are often answered within 12 hours.

Is it illegal to give legal advice in the USA?

The USA puts a stop to this nonsense by simply making it illegal as a general statutory rule if the advice-giver isn’t trained in law, isn’t qualified in law, isn’t admitted to the state Bar, and isn’t licensed to practise law. Simple as that. A very good rule too.


How can I get free legal advice in the US?

Find Free and Low-Cost Legal Help - Find free legal aid near you and get answers to your legal questions. These services are for people with low to moderate incomes. Law Help Interactive - This program helps you fill out legal forms for free, such as those dealing with: Uncontested divorce.

Can a non-lawyer give legal advice?

Thus, a non-lawyer may sell legal forms, provide general instructions for filling out the forms, and provide typing services for the entry of information into forms, provided no legal advice is given.

How much does a legal advice cost?

The minimum for an hourly consultation is around PHP 1,000.00 outside of Metro Manila and PHP 2,500.00 in Metro Manila. The rate only goes higher depending on the lawyer. There is no standard rate for an hourly consultation so it is best to ask for the consultation fee before booking a consultation.

What is it called when you can't afford a lawyer?

When a court decides someone is "indigent" - with few assets and no funds to pay an attorney - generally either a private lawyer will be appointed by the court and paid with county funds, or a public defender program will be appointed to represent the person.

Can you give your friends legal advice?

It's illegal for anyone to provide legal advice to individuals unless you are accredited with OISC/LSC (the regulatory bodies of immigration advice), or is a member of certain other bodies (see here).

Is seeking legal advice privilege?

Legal advice requested and given at such a meeting would be privileged; but the mere presence of a lawyer is insufficient to render the whole meeting privileged so that none of its contents (including any notes, minutes or record of the meeting) are disclosable.

How do I ask PAO for help?

Go to Public Attorney's Office Public Attorney's Office (PAO) has been known for providing free legal assistance to underprivileged clients. The lawyers will represent the client pro bono. They have nationwide offices or we can also visit their official

What's the difference between attorney and lawyer?

Attorney vs Lawyer: Comparing Definitions Lawyers are people who have gone to law school and often may have taken and passed the bar exam. Attorney has French origins, and stems from a word meaning to act on the behalf of others. The term attorney is an abbreviated form of the formal title 'attorney at law'.

Is it better to hire a local attorney?

Local lawyers can more effectively judge the value of your case or the likelihood of success. A local attorney knows and can fairly judge the temperament in the community and the likelihood of a fair and reasonable verdict being returned in your particular matter.

Can I represent myself in court?

You have a right to represent yourself in court in a civil case. If you choose to represent yourself, the court will hold you to the same standards as if you were a lawyer. Some cases are simple and straightforward.

How do pro bono lawyers get paid?

A lawyer who works pro bono does not get paid for the commitment on the case. To cover the loss of income, lawyers often cover the pro bono cases through charges to paying clients. Others work on a “no win, no fee” basis. They only get paid if they win the case.

What are your Miranda rights?

Your “Miranda” rights are: You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to have a lawyer present during any questioning.

What happens if you can't afford a lawyer?

In a criminal proceeding, if you can't afford legal assistance, a court will appoint an attorney for you. In a civil case, generally described as a dispute between two private parties, to get legal representation, you have to get creative. Here's how to find legal help if you can't afford a lawyer:

What is legal aid?

Legal aid societies are nonprofit organizations found in almost every corner of the country that provide free legal services to low-income people. While this is certainly worth exploring, the problem for many households is that the individual or couple makes too much money to qualify for help.

What does it mean to spend time in court?

And to add fuel to the fire, spending time preparing for a court case can mean losing wages or part of a salary. In short, if you don't have the time to self-educate, and if you can't find enough free legal advice to help you have your day in court, it's a wise decision to seek out a competent attorney.

What time does the Akron Bar Association answer legal questions?

The Akron Bar Association, in Akron, Ohio, is an example of what's out there. You can call the second and fourth Fridays of each month from 9 to 11 a.m., as part of their Ask an Attorney Service, and they'll answer legal questions for free.

What happens if you lose a case?

That is, if you lose your case, you won't pay money, but if you win, the law firm will take a portion of the money awarded to you. However, it's important to tread carefully before picking a lawyer. Choose a reputable attorney and make sure the rate is agreed upon before the lawyer takes your case.

Can a lawyer represent you on contingency?

It's risky for lawyers to take cases on contingency, and they need to be confident a judge or jury will side with you, and that there's going to be something sizable awarded to you. While no legal expert will suggest you represent yourself, it is an option if you're in a financial bind.

Can you go to small claims court after divorce?

For instance, you can't go to small claims court if you're trying to work out your financial affairs after a divorce. But if the stakes are fairly low where someone owes you money or is trying to collect money from you, and it isn't worth risking lawyer fees, you might consider small claims court.

What to Look for in a Lawyer

Before looking for an attorney, decide what kind you need. Common fields include:

Find Free and Low-Cost Legal Help

These programs offer a variety of ways to get legal aid. Some limit their services to people with low incomes.

Find Legal Resources for Specific Groups

Stateside Legal - Find free legal help for military members, veterans, and their families.

Do you have a question?

Ask a real person any government-related question for free. They'll get you the answer or let you know where to find it.

What percentage of low income people receive no legal aid?

The Legal Services Corporation, the single largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income Americans in the nation, reported in June that 86 percent of low-income Americans receive inadequate or no professional legal help for the civil legal problems they face.

How many pro se litigants are unrepresented?

In some states, as many as 80 to 90 percent of litigants are unrepresented, even though their opponent has a lawyer. The number of these “pro se litigants” has risen substantially in the last decade, due in part to the economic downturn and the relationship between poor economic conditions and issues like housing and domestic relations.

Can you get a lawyer if you are convicted of a misdemeanor?

Many people facing misdemeanor charges can, if convicted, be subjected to significant fines and fees, or face the loss of benefits (including housing) or deportation. Yet, they have no right to an attorney, and those who cannot afford a lawyer will go without one. Unlike in the criminal context, there’s no federal constitutional right ...

Do low income people have lawyers?

Many lower-income people have no lawyer to help them navigate the legal system, either in civil or criminal cases. Eighty percent of state criminal defendants cannot afford to pay for a lawyer, and only those who are actually incarcerated are constitutionally entitled to appointed counsel. Many people facing misdemeanor charges can, ...

Does not having a lawyer make a difference?

Across the county, roughly 90 percent of landlords are represented by counsel, while 90 percent of tenants are not. Simply having a lawyer increases the odds of being able to stay in one’s home.

What is the number to call an attorney?

When you call 1-800-ATTORNEY (1-800-288-6763) , you’ll be connected with an attorney in your area who’s familiar with the laws in your state, who’s willing to listen to your concerns, and who can explain the options available to you moving forward. Calls are answered 24 hours a day! 24/7 FREE LEGAL ADVICE: 1-800-ATTORNEY.

What is the best phone number to call for a free consultation?

When you call 1-800-ATTORNEY (1-800-288-6763), you’ll be connected with an attorney in your area who’s familiar with ...

Is there legal advice online?

There are many free legal advice services available online as well, but we strongly advise you to take all online advice with a grain of salt. The law varies from state to state, and those giving legal advice will often have differing opinions, and may not even be licensed to practice law.


Avvo should be your first stop for free legal advice if your question is straightforward.


Maybe your question is less straightforward, but you’re not ready to pay for a 15-minute phone call. Quora is your next stop.


Reddit operates similarly to Quora, but with anonymity. This can be good in that it encourages candid responses. But if you want to double check whether your answer comes from an authoritative source, you’re out of luck.


If you don’t have any lawyers following you, asking your legal question on Twitter isn’t likely to yield much. However, I’ve found the lawyers on Twitter to be pretty responsive when addressed directly.

Rocket Lawyer

Despite ranking for “free legal advice,” Rocket Lawyer is not free. You can get one free legal form, and there is some free advice on the site. So it’s not a bad place to gather information. But you’re not going to get as much for free as you do with Avvo.


Good advice is hard to find. Good, free advice is even harder. Good thing these sites exist. If they can’t solve your problem, they’ll at least get you closer. And you won’t have to go through doorway pages or give up your credit card information to get there.

What is the "this is not legal advice" disclaimer?

The "this is not legal advice" disclaimer is a "cover your ass" statement meant to make perfectly clear that any communication between a practicing attorney and a non-client is not interpreted, in any way, as an attorney-client communication providing formal legal advice.

Can a non-lawyer give legal advice?

Continue Reading. Generally, in the United States, it is illegal for a non-lawyer to give legal advice with or without a disclaimer.

Is legal advice unlawful?

Even if legal advice from a non-lawyer is technically unlawful, it cannot literally apply to every situation in real life. Now here’s the difference. Some people have a penchant for giving advice on other people’s legal problems, just as some others like to advise on automobile or cooking problems.

Is "you should have a will" legal advice?

One is advice or help. The other is practicing. “You should have a will” is advice on the topic of law. It is not “ legal advice”. Not even a lawyer needs to disclaimer that, though most would, out of habit.

Do law students have to have a hearing?

They will likely have to have a hearing prior to being admitted to any state in. Continue Reading. Law students are no different from other non-lawyers, they are not allowed to give legal advice in situations when other non-lawyers are not allowed to give legal advice.

Is a disclaimer required for a lawyer?

No. The disclaimer is necessary for lawyers. For a non-lawyer, it isn’t “legal advice”. It’s just advice. Advice by a lawyer could be legal advice, and “legal advice” has rules around it, so the disclaimer is to explicitly state that it’s not “legal advice” and all that implies.

How to get legal counsel without paying up front?

There is another way to get legal counsel without significant up-front expenses. This is the “contingency fee” arrangement, whereby one's payment to their attorney is contingent upon that lawyer getting some form of recovery for the client. Generally, the client pays either nothing out-of-pocket, or only some of the costs of the case (like filing and service fees). At the conclusion of the case, if the attorney loses, the client pays nothing, but if the attorney recovers any money for the client, then the attorney takes his or her fees as a percentage of the award.

Who needs an attorney the most?

Frequently, the people who need an attorney the most are also the ones who can least afford to pay for one. Whether accused of a crime, injured in an accident, or facing the possibility of losing your children, there are many situations where the stakes are so high that you might desperately need an attorney even though you have no way to pay. ...

What is the right of an indigent person to counsel?

On appeal from his conviction, the Supreme Court held that the right of an indigent (i.e., poor) defendant in a criminal case to have the assistance of counsel is a fundamental right essential to a fair trial. Thus, the conviction was overturned and the right to legal counsel in a criminal case was finally and firmly established.

What happens if an attorney loses a case?

At the conclusion of the case, if the attorney loses, the client pays nothing, but if the attorney recovers any money for the client, then the attorney takes his or her fees as a percentage of the award.

What is a public defender?

Most commonly, the defendant receives the services of a Public Defender, an attorney paid by the state to represent clients with no means of representing themselves. These are overworked and underpaid civil servants that often receive an unfair reputation as being less skilled or less concerned than a private attorney.

What is a conflict attorney?

Thus, when someone has a conflict with the Public Defender's office, so-called “conflict attorneys” may be appointed by the court. These are usually private attorneys that have volunteered to assist the court in these situations.

What is the right to remain silent?

You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided to you. This right to an attorney, even if you cannot afford one, grew out of the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution ...

Can you get a green card if you are a temporary protected status?

if you come from a country that’s recently had an environmental or natural disaster, a civil war, or any other issue that makes it unsafe for you to return. Temporary protected status, or TPS, doesn’t lead to a green card, ...

Can you cancel removal if you are arrested?

Cancellation of Removal. Some people who are arrested by immigration authorities can qualify for cancellation of removal – but it’s not an option available to everyone. You can only use this option if you’re already in removal proceedings, and you only qualify for cancellation of removal if you:

Can undocumented immigrants get legal status?

However, there is help for undocumented immigrants in the United States. You may be able to get legal status that keeps you in the U.S. with your family and friends .

Can an undocumented person be a permanent resident?

Undocumented immigrants – sometimes called “illegal immigrants” – don’t have many options for lawful permanent residence. U.S. immigration law is very clear about following the proper channels when visiting or moving to the United States.