I received an interesting email the other day, in response to one of my posts where I explained what Default Judgments are, how they affect your credit score and what you should do if you find one on your credit report. This woman in San Jose, Cali wrote,
paid fees about request to remove default judgment, and clerk advised me to attend court hearing on Sept. 17, 2009. as told by the clerk in the court, i was denied to vacate the default judgment. i was not given the chance to give my reasons why i was a no show. no judge , no lawyer to talk to. i need a lawyer to help me, pls. call 832-XXX-XXXX.
MY Journey Reader
Every State has different laws when it comes to vacating (throwing out) default judgments, and I have no idea about this woman’s particular situation. But I realized something as I read the email she is probably not alone in needing help when it comes to finding low cost legal Counsel.
5 ways to Locate an Inexpensive Attorney
- Ask a Friend or family member– Word of mouth is probably the best way to find an attorney, and then add in the fact that the recommender probably knows that attorney’s fee schedule. Further, even if the recommended attorney doesn’t practice in that particular area or isn’t ready to work for what you can pay them, they may know someone that will work for lower compensation.
- Check your Local Bar – Nope, I don’t mean your local watering hole, a bar association is a professional body of lawyers. I am not sure about the rest of the country, but in the NY area, every county has a bar association. Anyone can call these bar associations and ask for pro bono or low cost legal work.
- Call your Local Court – Many Courts have a legal department completely set up to help pro se (non-professionals representing themselves) litigants. The people helping are trained attorneys and often know the Court system they are placed, inside and out.
- Check with a Local Law School for Clinics – During law school I participating in the Elder Law clinic, where I represented elderly clients who had little means to pay an attorney. It was a rewarding experience, that many law schools replicate – so give one a call and ask for their clinics.
- Look up local Legal Aid Services– These are organizations set up just to provide low cost legal services, so it should be obvious to check with them!
I doubt this is an exhaustive list, so if you need more, please share! And if you are in this particular reader’s area code please contact me.