A key focus of my blog is Financial Literacy/Money. One of the most significant costs one can accrue in their lifetime is legal fees. Individuals who find themselves on the wrong side of life’s events can find themselves in unforeseen legal battles which they often don’t know how to finance. The following contributed post is entitled, 8 Ways to Finance Legal Aide.
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It’s your worst nightmare – legal fees. But they don’t have to be scary. If you’re struggling to finance legal aid, try some of these cool ideas:
- Online legal aid: you can access legal advice online for low prices or even on trial memberships. You get to chat with an attorney online, or sometimes on the phone for a low price. There are many companies available, so do some web-surfing and find the best one for you. Some specialize, some are general. Decide what you need and shop around. Don’t automatically choose the cheapest one. Maybe a little bit more money will get you a better service. After all, you want the best advice tailored for your situation, and there are many fields of law out there. Get someone who knows the area of law you need them to know, and avoid one-size-fits-all legal advice.
- Legal Aid Society: the Legal Aid Society provides legal advice for low-income people. They offer free consultations and representation in court. They can’t help you with criminal cases (as you get legal representation as part of your constitutional rights during criminal law cases), but they cover everything under civil law. They run legal clinics that are entirely free and are always happy to help.
- Local attorneys: don’t dismiss your regular attorney’s office. Just because you’re low on funds doesn’t mean an attorney won’t help you. If you’re in the midwest, try the attorneys in Minot, ND. They may still be able to help you.
- Regular old bank loan: if all else fails, consider a standard loan. Your bank can lend you a given sum of money to cover legal costs, which you’d then have to pay off the same way you’d pay off your credit card or your car. The downside is that you’d have to wait for everything to be processed before you got any money, but maybe your attorney can work with that.
- Legal students: if you have any legal students in the family, perhaps they can help you with information and research. If they don’t know the answers, they’d be able to ask higher-level students or professors. This option won’t help you if you need court representation, but anyone working in or studying law might know someone who can take your case.
- Peer-to-peer loans: usually found online, peer-to-peer loan companies let you borrow and lend money amongst other ordinary citizens. You’ll still need a good credit score, but there are no banks involved. You have to keep up the payments to maintain your credit score, however.
- Use your credit card: for a one-off consultation, putting it on your credit card might work if all you need is some time to pay the bill.
- Insurance: certain kinds of insurance will cover legal expenses, like professional indemnity insurance and some types of pet insurance. Have a look at any policies you have and see what they will cover.
There are many ways of accessing legal aid when you need it. Don’t despair; work your way through this list until you find something that works for you.