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Places that Help

Choosing and Working with a Lawyer

Updated: 
May 28, 2019

How do I find a lawyer?

If you cannot afford to pay a lawyer, you may be able to get free legal assistance from a non-profit legal organization in your area. We have links for legal assistance in each state on our Finding a Lawyer page. However, very often, the demand for lawyers outweighs the supply of lawyers and so there may be waiting lists or you may get turned down. If this happens, you may want to ask the legal assistance program if they can recommend any other programs in your county that you can call or if, at the very least, you can get a free consultation with an attorney or some ongoing guidance from an attorney if you have to represent yourself in court.

If you can afford to pay a lawyer, or if you cannot get free legal help and feel that your only option is to figure out a way to pay for a private lawyer, your state’s bar association likely has a program where they will refer you to a lawyer in your area. Often times, the initial half-hour consultation with the lawyer will cost between $25 and $50 and then it is up to you to decide whether or not to hire the attorney to represent you. You can find a link to your state’s bar association legal referral service on our Finding a Lawyer page. You may also be able to get a referral to an attorney who is sensitive to issues of domestic violence if you call your local domestic violence program or your state coalition against domestic violence – see our Advocates and Shelters page.

For a list of suggested questions to ask an attorney who you are considering hiring to represent you, see How do I pick the right attorney? What questions do I ask?