Attorneys can be expensive. Utah divorce attorneys, Utah child custody attorneys, Utah family law attorneys, they all cost. Sometimes, life hits hard and you just don’t have the money to pay a retainer and then monthly fees. In those difficult situations it might be necessary to find a lawyer who will help you for free. In lawyer speak, doing work for free is called pro bono. Pro bono is short for the Latin phrase “pro bono publico,” which means “for the public good.”
Attorneys are encouraged to provide pro bono services. Some attorneys fulfill these services by helping at clinics, some by providing services to their church, and some by taking cases for those who cannot afford legal services. It is this last group you will want to target.
You can start your search for a pro bono attorney by calling the Utah Bar Association. Ask for a list of attorneys who do pro bono work. The Bar also maintains a pro bono assistance page that may direct you to an organization that can help.
If there are none, you will need to start calling law offices to see if any of the attorneys do pro bono work. Honestly, this usually isn’t a terribly fruitful exercise, but lightning can strike.
A more effective method is asking an attorney you know if he or she knows someone who might do pro bono work. You’re always more likely to find help if you are introduced by a colleague.
You could also see if someone in your church is an attorney and would be willing to help. Word of caution here: people don’t like to be taken advantage of because you share religious beliefs. This means you have to approach this option with a lot of tact. And don’t ever make a fellow believer feel guilty for not providing pro bono work.
If yours is a divorce or family law matter, you can contact Utah Legal Services. They help people below a certain income with family law, as well as other, matters. They are uniformly good attorneys, although you must keep in mind they have a mind-boggling number of cases, so cut them some slack if they help you out.
You could also go to social media to see if a friend could put you in contact with an attorney who might help. This might be a bit embarrassing, but it could be constructive.
Also, if you have a skill set of some sort (e.g., web design, carpentry, construction), you could try to trade your services for legal services. This is technically paying in-kind (i.e., bartering), but most attorneys want good ol’ cash, so trades like this are usually considered less desirable, but they happen fairly regularly.
So, whether you’re looking for a pro bono divorce attorney, or any other type of pro bono attorney, you have some options. Good luck with your search.
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