If you have need of legal assistance but you are not sure you can afford it, you will want to know what to do when you need a lawyer and have no money.
If you find yourself in a position where you need legal representation and you cannot afford it, there are several routes you can take:
Get a loan
If you want really good, private representation it might be a good idea to take out a personal loan to cover your legal costs.
Visit Legal Aid
Legal Aid offers assistance at discounted price and sometimes for free. It can take time to find representation and some people do not qualify.
Contact your Nearest University
Low cost and sometimes even free legal advice can be found by the public from various SA universities. Click here for a list of legal clinics at universities in the country that may be able to offer assistance.
When would you need a lawyer?
Many people find themselves in situations where they need legal assistance for one thing or another.
If you are in a relationship or married and you and your partner decide that you are no longer compatible, it is very likely that you will need a lawyer for your divorce or separation. A lawyer could help you negotiate the situation, could protect your best interests and help you to get what you deserve.
A good lawyer will also help you with spousal maintenance, child maintenance, child custody and the separation of assets.
If you are ever charged with a criminal offence you will definitely need a lawyer to represent you in court, whether you are innocent or not. Because no average human being knows as much about the law and how it works as a professional lawyer or attorney, without one you will be at a disadvantage.
If you want to take an individual, organisation or company to court for something or other, it is essential that you have good legal representation. You will not be able to win your case, especially against a big, powerful company or organisation if you do not have decent, experienced legal representation.
What makes a good lawyer?
There are several different factors that influence whether a lawyer or attorney is a good one or not. It is incredibly important that your legal representation is the best that you can get to ensure that your best interests are being looked after as well as possible.
The following tips and advice will help you to ensure that you get the very best lawyer possible, regardless of what you have to pay for one.
Make sure that you go for a lawyer that has the right qualifications
Look into what the right qualifications are and make sure that the lawyer that you end up going with has these qualifications.
Make sure that you go for a lawyer who went to a good tertiary institution
Different institutions have different reputations for their law courses. The environment that your lawyer studied from is important to his or her abilities.
Go for a lawyer with experience
An experienced lawyer will not be likely to help you to win your case. Make sure that the lawyer that you go with has several years and several cases of experience under his or her belt.
Go for a lawyer who specialises in the field you need help in
There are many different areas within the law that lawyers and attorneys can specialise in. Some lawyers work across a broad range of fields, but if you want the best assistance and advice, it is a good idea to go for a lawyer who has some experience in the particular field that you need guidance in.
Go for a lawyer who you feel comfortable with
Especially if you are being charged with a criminal offence, your legal proceedings will be incredibly stressful and hard to deal with. You want to have a lawyer who will answer all of your questions, make time to address your concerns and put you at ease.