How to Hire a Lawyer With No Money: A Complete Guide

Updated on June 18, 2021
How to Hire a Lawyer With No Money A Complete Guide copy
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Almost 90% of people enter into court unrepresented in some US states.

Many times, their opponent has a lawyer, and the unrepresented party will find themselves abused by the legal system. But lawyers are expensive, and it can be overwhelming to think of hiring one if you can’t afford the legal fees.

You may have even spoken to lawyers and found that they require tens of thousands of dollars in retainer fees before they’ll even take on your case. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

But, it is possible to hire a lawyer if you can’t afford one. In this article, we’ll go over how to hire a lawyer with no money so that you can get the justice you deserve without going bust.

Read on for more information on how to hire a lawyer without being a millionaire.

Ask a Lawyer For Free Advice Online

First off, if you have a legal question but don’t want to drive to a physical attorney’s office just yet, many online sites offer free lawyer guidance to help you understand whether you have a case or not. One such website,, offers hundreds of articles written and updated by some of the top attorneys in America. The best thing about this handy website is that all of the advice available is, you guessed it, free!

The site also offers a “FreeAdvice Forum” which allows people to ask questions and receive answers and suggestions from other consumers, experts, and attorneys in 50 topics. If you are looking to hire a lawyer, this is a great avenue to begin with, because you can ask a lawyer a question free of charge, without any commitment. If, after getting the answers to your questions, you’d like to proceed with legal action, you can complete a form on the site for a free consultation with an attorney.

Hire a Lawyer on Contingency

Not all lawyers will work on contingency, and depending on the legal help you require, you may find it very difficult for someone to represent you this way. But, if you’re suing someone for a lot of money, such as medical malpractice or car accident, you may be able to have a lawyer work with you on this basis.

Contingency is synonymous with “no win no fee,” and it means that if you don’t win your case, your lawyer doesn’t get paid. This is why they work so hard to ensure you do win your case and don’t take on cases they don’t believe in.

You’ll typically either agree on an amount the lawyer will take from your winnings, or the lawyer will bill against your winnings. Once your lawyer takes his or her cut, then you’ll be able to take home the rest.

A Law School Clinic

Did you know that you can get low-cost or free legal advice at a law school? In some cases, you may even get a referral to someone who can represent you at a low-cost, or even free.

Most law schools hold clinics where students gain credit hours by helping clients with their legal problems. They may do this over the phone or in person and can help provide you legal precedents and ideas to help you solve your legal issue.

Some law schools also offer very niche clinics to help with specific types of cases.

In some cases, they may even be able to help represent you if needed.

Free Consultations

This law firm, like most law firms, will offer you a free consultation to see if you’re a good fit for a lawyer-client relationship. During this consultation, you’ll go over your records, and discuss where they would go if they took on your case.

Sometimes, this is all you need to help you resolve your legal issue, or it can help you understand where to go next. Most of the time, free consultations are to help the lawyer and potential client get a feel for one another, but it can be a very helpful way of getting good legal advice without having to fork over an expensive hourly charge.

Court-Appointed Lawyers

While not always ideal, in some legal situations, you’ll receive a court-appointed lawyer if you cannot afford one.

This doesn’t happen in civil suits, but will almost always happen in a criminal case. Many people prefer to hire a criminal attorney who is not court-appointed, as these lawyers often have more time for your case.

But, as the American legal system does promise you an attorney in some cases, you will have the right to one without charge.


There are some lawyers who work as part of a charity, or work part-time with charities, to represent specific populations.

For example, there are lawyers who work with writers, artists, musicians and all sorts of professionals. There are also lawyers that work with people of specific socioeconomic backgrounds or on specific cases through these charities.

Often, you’ll get a lawyer who will work with you free of charge, or who will work with you at a very low cost. Most of these charities will offer you a free consultation as well, so you can discuss if your case has merit or how they can help you.

These charities expressly exist to ensure that people get adequate representation, even if they cannot afford it.

Pro Bono

You’ve probably heard the words “pro bono” at one point or another and wondered what they meant.

The phrase is short for a longer Latin phrase, “pro bono publico,” which means for the good of the public. It also indicates work that is undertaken without charge.

While the phrase is used in many professional areas, it is most well-known in law. Many bar associations have pro bono programs where lawyers give a certain amount of hours at free or low-cost.

Not everyone is eligible for pro bono legal help, but you may be depending on your circumstance, your age or your income.

How to Hire a Lawyer with No Money: Is It Possible?

This article covered some of the ways to answer the question of how to hire a lawyer with no money. It is not impossible, but depending on your case, it can prove to be difficult.

But, with a little bit of persistence and a hunger for justice, you may be able to get what you deserve without having to pay a hefty bill.

Want to learn more about the law and current legal issues facing the world today? If so, visit our legal section for more articles devoted to this subject.

The Editorial Team at Healthcare Business Today is made up of skilled healthcare writers and experts, led by our managing editor, Daniel Casciato, who has over 25 years of experience in healthcare writing. Since 1998, we have produced compelling and informative content for numerous publications, establishing ourselves as a trusted resource for health and wellness information. We offer readers access to fresh health, medicine, science, and technology developments and the latest in patient news, emphasizing how these developments affect our lives.