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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 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
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.
Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Mon., Tues., Wed., & Fri.
Online: Client Intake Form
- VLN Servicios Legales en Español (VLN Spanish Legal Services)
La Red de Abogados Voluntarios ofrece este programa. Las personas de bajos recursos que viven en Minnesota pueden hablar con abogados, o por telefono o en persona, y recibir ayuda legal gratuita.
Horario: martes (Tues.) de las 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. y miércoles (Wed.) de las 2:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
- 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
NOTE: The Minnesota Judicial Branch makes no endorsement or warranty about quality of services by listing an organization on this website.
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