Making decisions about a legal issue can often have a long-lasting financial impact. Hiring a lawyer to help you may be more affordable than you think, and it may protect you from doing something that cannot be undone. You can find a lawyer by getting referrals from Bar Associations, community agencies, friends, employers, religious advisers, and other people you trust. There are different ways to pay for legal services, so when you first meet with a lawyer, you should talk about their fees, and put any fee agreement in writing.
You can find assistance at Legal Advice Clinics & Self-Help Centers
You may be able to hire an attorney for a "limited scope" or "unbundled" service. This means that the attorney will work on a specific task for you, and you do not have to hire her for the entire case. You only pay a fee for that specific task. For example, the attorney could review your court papers, go to court with you, or give you her expert opinion about your legal rights and options.
Depending on the type of case, you may be able to hire an attorney on a "contingency fee" basis. This means that the attorney will represent you in the case, but you do not pay a fee for the legal services. Usually, the lawyer only gets paid if you succeed in your case and the payment comes from money awarded to you in the case.
People with low income may qualify for free or low-cost legal services. See LawHelpMN.org
to find legal aid offices and other legal services programs in Minnesota.
Lawyer Referral Programs
- MN State Bar Association - online directory of Minnesota attorneys. Most charge market rate fees, but enter any of the following terms in the keyword search box: "unbundled," "limited scope," "sliding scale," "modest means" and "sliding fee" and you'll find attorneys who can provide brief services or full representation at a reduced cost. Click on the attorney's name to see if they offer a free consult.
- Anoka County Bar Association - "Finding a Lawyer"
- Dakota County Bar Association - (952) 431-3200
- Hennepin County Bar Association - "Lawyer Referral and Information Service"
- Ramsey County Bar Association - "Attorney Referral"
- The Bar Association referral programs listed above may also have information on resources for people with low income.
Lawyer Locators for People with Low Income
- LawHelpMN.org - offers a search tool to find free or low-cost legal services based on client's legal issue and location
- Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN)
- VLN offers help with legal issues such as housing, bankruptcy, family law, expungement, and debt collection. To find out if you qualify for services, complete a Client Intake by phone or online.
- Phone: (612) 752-6677
- Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Mon., Wed., & Thurs.
- Online: Client Intake Form
- Red de Abogados Voluntarios
- La Red de Abogados Voluntatios (Volunteer Lawyers Network (VLN) en inglés) arregla citas entre personas de bajos recursos y abogados voluntarios que ofrecen servicios gratuitos asociados con varias áreas de la ley, incluyendo asuntos civiles, de vivienda, inmigración, familia, bancarrota e otros. Su área de servicio generalmente es el condado de Hennepin, pero para algunos tipos de casos como bancarrota, inmigración, y “federal pro se,” trabajan con personas de todo el estado de Minnesota.
- Tel.: (612) 752-6677
- Horario: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. lunes, miercoles, y jueves
- En Linea: Formulario de Admisión por internet
- Public Defenders Office (State of Minnesota) - provides free legal representation in criminal and juvenile delinquency cases for people with low income
- Tubman - helps people with domestic abuse and family law issues in Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties
- Legal Corps - offers free legal help for low-income small businesses & non-profits in Minnesota
- MN Disability Law Center
- MN AIDS Project - Legal Services
Other Lawyer Locators