Tag Archives: online legal help

Finding the Right Attorney, Part 2 – How to be a Savvy Legal Consumer With Online Resources

Last month’s blog article “How do you find the right attorney for your legal issue, your area, and your budget” (July 18, 2013) promoted the idea of using lawyer referral services offered by state and local Bar Associations. The ubiquity of the programs (more than 300 nationally) and the mission of matching legal consumers with unbiased, qualified referrals based upon specific legal needs is endorsed and governed by the American Bar Association. The referral services include pre-screening assistance, detailed educational and professional profiles, and assisted selection of appropriate counsel.
Whether you utilize a referral program or decide to … Read More

Can you fire your Public Defender or Court-Appointed Attorney?

If you have been charged with a crime that may result in incarceration and you cannot afford an attorney, the court will offer you legal representation.  Depending on the jurisdiction, a public defender or court-appointed attorney will be assigned to represent you.  Whether a public defender (a paid government lawyer who represents indigent defendants) or a court-appointed attorney (a private practice lawyer hired by the court to represent indigent defendants on an ad hoc basis), both are licensed practitioners in your state.  Regardless of the type of advocate appointed, the attorney will act as your legal counsel.  But what happens … Read More

Help From Government Attorneys

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Depending on location, the government officer responsible for prosecuting criminals may be known as the District Attorney, Prosecutor, or County Attorney. Regardless of title, this officer may sound like someone the average citizen would prefer to avoid. Doesn’t the D.A. just prosecute criminals?

In many states, District and County Attorneys also help citizens enforce their rights. Kentucky County Attorneys are a good example.

Have you ever been stuck with a bad check? If so, how do you try to collect? Hire a lawyer? File a criminal complaint and wait for the check-writer’s trial to find out if you’ll see any … Read More

State Attorneys General Provide Legal Resources and Legal Research for Free

Generally when we hear about state attorneys general in the news, it is because they are suing tobacco companies, or defending high-profile state laws in court. But state attorneys general (“SAGs”) can also be a good resource for guidance on everyday legal issues. SAGs are tasked with providing legal protection to their state’s residents, which means pursuing big lawsuits sometimes, but also providing guidance on issues such as consumer fraud, elder abuse, and victims’ rights.

The websites of various SAGs provide a variety of resources. The Arizona SAG site, has a section on what to do about annoying telemarketers … Read More

Do You Need a Lawyer?

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Since most people go through most of their lives without interacting with the court system, it can be confusing when one is suddenly forced to interact with that system. Imagine that tomorrow you discover you have a legal problem. “Do I need a lawyer?” may well be your first reaction. The easy answer for any legal problem is yes, you should talk to a lawyer, even if the lawyer then says you don’t really need a lawyer. But you don’t know any lawyers – this being your first encounter with a legal problem – and lawyers cost money. Maybe you … Read More

CourtReference: Your Guide to Free Legal Help

Are you experiencing legal trouble and unsure of how to proceed? Do you need a lawyer but think you cannot afford one? You might be surprised at the number of free or low-cost legal services available in your state and how easy it is to find them through CourtReference.

Legal aid and legal referral services may be offered by state government, county government, or private organizations. Some agencies offer general legal services, such as help with most non-criminal matters. Others offer specialized services for a group of people, such as senior citizens or victims of domestic violence, or a … Read More

Law Libraries for You

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Need to do some legal research? Look up a case, a statute, books on a particular legal topic, or a specific legal document? Try the law library; it’s easier than you think. There is at least one law library in your state that is open to the public; in some states, there is one in every county. And like public libraries, law libraries are putting their catalogs and other resources online.

Check your state’s CourtReference guide’s Self Help and Legal Research resource category and look for the word “library” on the page. You’ll find the closest law library and links … Read More

How To Find Legal Help When You Can’t Afford It

The internet offers many online legal resources for people without attorneys, including legal information and other self-help resources. Some sites also link to organizations that offer free or low-cost legal assistance. The sites listed below are suggested as starting points to find online legal resources in every state.

Legal Information: Legal information is not legal advice, but it can outline the laws and procedures for different types of cases. Many general questions can be answered with online legal information.

Legal Assistance: Legal assistance can take several forms. Every state has organizations that offer free legal services to eligible

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