Nearly everyone will need legal help at some point in their lives — in fact, more than 100 million cases are filed every year in state courts1.
If you have simple legal questions or need representation, there are many free and low-cost online resources available that connect you with practicing lawyers from your computer or phone.
Did you know? There are over 1.3 million2 lawyers in the United States.
- Why Good Legal Counsel Is So Important
- Where to Find Low-Cost and Free Legal Help Online
- Other Legal Websites
- Watch this Video for More Info!
Why Good Legal Counsel Is So Important
With any legal issue, it’s essential to find good counsel. But many Americans do not have extra funds for expensive attorneys, so many end up handling legal matters without representation or guidance3. But if this is true, why does anyone need a lawyer?
The constitution guarantees legal representation for criminal matters, but counsel is usually not provided for civil matters, leaving individuals with what can be life-changing civil issues — like evictions — to either fend for themselves or pay for a lawyer. But you’re almost always better off with legal help, as demonstrated here: when tenants in New York City go through an eviction unrepresented, they are evicted about 50% of the time. When they have a lawyer, they win around 90% of the time4.
Lawyers can be expensive, but good legal counsel is usually worth it. If you’re diligent and resourceful, you may be able to get answers to simple legal matters — such as how to correctly fill out a legal document or obtain clarification on rental laws — by using a few online tools. For more pressing issues, there may be a few ways to find an affordable lawyer. We’ll help point you in the right direction below.
Where to Find Low-Cost and Free Legal Help Online
Free Legal Answers (FREE) – The American Bar Association’s Free Legal Answers allows users to submit a civil legal question, to which licensed attorneys specific to your state can answer your question. The drawback is not knowing when or if your question will be answered. If it’s something non-urgent, try this website to see if you procure any bites.
ABA’s Find Legal Help (FREE/$) – This section of the ABA’s website connects qualifying low-income individuals with free legal help, provides assistance for military families, and provides references for low-cost attorney representation.
Avvo (FREE/$) – Post questions on AVVO’s forum and wait for answers from a licensed attorney in your state. If you need to take it one step further, the site will connect you with lawyers-for-hire near you. You can also search AVVO’s database to check if your question has already been answered
US Lawyer ($) – Low-cost solution for legal counsel and connects you with affordable attorneys in your region. The site matches you with a compatible lawyer for free — usually in under 24 hours — after which the lawyer will overview their fees.
Askalawyeroncall.com ($) – This service is 24/7 and is a funnel to Just Answer, where you can speak to a lawyer through messages for a $5 trial fee or on the phone for approximately $60. The site is convenient, quick, and can get simple questions answered in a matter of minutes, but it’s recommended to use it for non-complex matters.
Other Legal Websites
If you need to look up a quick statute, there are a few great websites that break down the laws in your state. If you plan to take some sort of action based on your research, it’s best to do so under the guidance of an attorney.
Video: Watch this!
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