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There are however a variety of ways to get responses to any legal questions and, if necessary, to secure free legal assistance for your particular matter.
The presence of legal websites have exploded in recent years as attorneys and advocates for certain legal positions have grasped the power of the internet to attract clients, obtain contributions, or to promote their legal-based organizations.
LAW OFFICE WEBSITES
Law office websites can be a resource for obtaining information for many legal questions. These sites are primarily designed to attract clients by promoting the attorneys and highlighting their credentials as well as indicating the areas of law in which they practice. Many contain testimonials from past clients or have a brief synopsis of particular cases in which the firm achieved a successful outcome for a well-satisfied client.
Law firms, though, understand that they need to stand out from other firms which practice the same area of law and with whom they compete for clients. One method is to have a blog or to regularly post articles on either recent legal issues or topics that directly affect their practice and their clients, or that explain the law on specific legal areas. For example, a criminal defense firm may have comprehensive articles on the elements of certain criminal offenses and give examples of what constitutes a such an offense, or what activities, though seemingly criminal, do not meet all the elements of the crime.
A client seeking answers to legal questions regarding probate may look at a probate firm’s website that may include comprehensive articles about particular legal instruments and how they apply to a client’s circumstances.
These can provide valuable information to an individual and answer some of his or her legal questions, but they are not a substitute for getting your legal questions answered through a consultation with an attorney.
In some instances, a low wage worker or indigent individual can obtain free legal assistance by contacting these law firms and making inquiries. Many larger firms have pro bono programs that cater to low income clients or the homeless so free legal assistance from attorneys with impressive credentials or from highly regarded law schools is very possible.
Some law firms as well as some online legal directories offer consultations with an attorney online who may be able to respond to your legal questions or even offer free legal assistance in some cases. Generally, for a small fee, you can list your legal issue, or complete an online form, and an attorney will review it and respond to your legal questions. You may find it difficult to ask any follow-up legal questions, which could require you to pay much more or to retain the attorney.
NON-LAW FIRM WEBSITES AND ORGANIZATIONS
You may also obtain answers to your legal questions from issue-based organizations such as the Sierra Club or organizations that advocate any other particular issue.
These organizations also offer comprehensive information on case law, statutory law, and give examples of people who may have suffered unless a law or policy the organization is advocating for or against is changed. By reading the material contained on the site, you could easily get an answer to any legal questions you may have.
In many instances, you may also secure free legal assistance from these organizations. If you have an issue or case that piques their interest or which could advance their philosophy, it is highly probable that their attorneys will offer free legal assistance to you.
Some areas have legal clinics where you can get your legal questions answered and in some cases obtain free legal assistance. These clinics are usually staffed by attorneys fresh out of law school or by lawyers near the end of their careers who are looking to assist low income clients who ordinarily would not be able to secure expert legal advice or free legal assistance.
These clinics are usually poorly funded and are not as prevalent as in past decades. Still, they offer valuable legal help for landlord tenant disputes, small claims cases, and legal questions on Social Security issues.
Law schools are excellent repositories for obtaining not only answers to legal questions but for securing free legal assistance. These institutions may offer free legal assistance to indigent clients or the homeless through their own clinics or programs with supervision by licensed attorneys on civil as well as criminal matters. In some states, law schools work with legal aid or public defender offices that refer clients to them.
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