Legal Information

When the Legal System Fails You

Updated: 
March 26, 2010

Getting a new lawyer

If you cannot afford a lawyer, but cannot get free legal services, you might be able to ask the judge to order the other party (husband, ex-husband, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, etc) to pay for your lawyer’s legal fees. Depending on the type of case and the state you live in, sometimes judges evaluate your financial situation as well as the other party’s financial situation and can order the other person to pay for any legal fee or cost involved in the legal process. When looking for a private lawyer, you can ask if s/he would be willing to make this request on your behalf in court. If it is a divorce case where you expect to be getting a large sum of money in a divorce settlement, perhaps the lawyer may delay getting paid until the case is complete or work out a payment plan. For certain cases, such as a personal injury case or an employment discrimination case, you may likely be able to find a lawyer who will take your case for a contingency fee -- where the lawyer will get a percentage of the money from your winnings in the case.

You may also want to contact any law schools in your area because sometimes they have legal clinics and can take cases for free. In these clinics, law school students provide assistance and representation under the supervision of their professors.