The concept of free legal aid began in the late 1800s to protect poor families, particularly immigrants, from exploitation and injustice. Accordingly, the rule of law and the United States Constitution states that each citizen is entitled to equal justice, a fair and speedy trial, and the right to counsel. What do you do, however, if in need of legal assistance, yet you can not afford such services? Whether your need is civil or criminal, there are many community legal services inc or pro bono (pro bono means for the public good or without charge) services to help people whose income is less than 125 percent of the federal poverty level (for a family of four, an income of less than $30,000 per annum would qualify in most states).
How do you find legal representation? First, do your due diligence and research your options. According to the American Bar Association website, you can search a community legal services directory to find legal aid that meets your need. Civil matters, such as bankruptcy, landlord issues, domestic disputes, or child custodial issues, can link you to community legal services philadelphia or attorneys that have experience and expertise in these issues. Similarly, the ABA site can link you to a community legal services directory for attorneys that specialize in criminal defense. There is also a community legal services directory that is for profit, which means attorneys pay to advertise in a community legal services directory. There are also websites that allow you to post your case, and then attorneys can bid on providing services to you.
In addition to the ABA, there is a Pennsylvania community legal services directory or two that provide contact information to a network of attorneys that may be able to provide legal services to you. Keep in mind that the legal system is complicated, and laws can vary from state to state, which is why researching a community legal services directory for your geographic area is important, too.