Low-income individuals needing legal advice can contact the Legal Services Corporation, a nationwide organization helping millions of Americans who are near or under the federal poverty level, reports the LSC. Other sources of free legal advice include public defenders' offices, lawyers charging contingency fees and social justice organizations, advises Nolo. For general legal questions, sites like Avvo, offer the ability for users to ask lawyers for free.
The Legal Services Corporation frequently helps people who are vulnerable such as women, families with children, veterans, the elderly and the disabled, according to the LSC. The company's programs help provide legal advice and assistance in cases involving domestic violence, child custody, tenant-landlord disputes, unscrupulous lenders, and obtaining compensation from employers and benefits from the government. The LSC funds hundreds of nonprofit legal aid offices all over the United States. To locate a nearby office, individuals should use the interactive map and search engine on the LSC website.
When people who can't afford lawyers are charged with a crime, courts must appoint lawyers to offer advice and represent them for free, states Nolo. Individuals who are injured and want to sue can retain lawyers on contingency, which means that the lawyers don't get paid until they win the case, although there may be court fees involved. Organizations involved in social justice issues may offer legal advice for free. For instance, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund deals in civil rights cases, the American Civil Liberties Union guards individual rights, the National Resources Defense Council protects the environment, and the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund protects gay and lesbian rights.