How to find a good lawyer and not go broke

The help of a lawyer is usually needed urgently, so people rarely spend a lot of time looking for a specialist. But lawyers are different. If you turn to the wrong one, problems can only become more. Here’s some legal wisdom for those who are thinking ahead.

Service cost

Depending on the fees that lawyers ask for their work, they can be divided into 5 categories:

  • Free lawyers.
  • Debt Buyers.
  • Solo lawyers.
  • Lawyers.
  • Law firms.
  • Free lawyers

Usually lawyers do not work for free, but there are exceptions: for example, students who are doing internships, lawyers from state and non-state centers, and those who advise on the Internet.

Students. Universities with law faculties often have “legal clinics” where students gain experience under the supervision of teachers. Lists of legal clinics are published on the websites of the regional offices of the Ministry of Justice. Another way to find a clinic is to call the law schools of major universities in your city and ask if they have free consultations.

State bureaus help free of charge those who are entitled to such assistance by law: people with disabilities, the poor, adoptive parents, citizens affected by emergencies. The full list is spelled out in the law.

If there is no bureau in the region, it is replaced by lawyers from the local bar association. Their contacts are published on the websites of the chambers. These people work not for free, but for budget money.

Non-governmental centers work at the expense of sponsors: politicians, charitable organizations, foundations. The lawyers of such centers are heavily loaded and cannot always provide quick advice.

Internet consultations. With free lawyers on the Internet, you need to be careful. In my experience, if you search for “free legal help”, the first few sites will not offer help, but aggressive marketing. The lawyer will listen to you for a minute or two, then he will say that the case is complex and urgent, so you should buy a paid consultation right now.

It is better to look on the Internet for solutions to problems similar to yours. Lawyers discuss the intricacies of their work in specialized forums. Some resources publish questions and answers on legal topics. In the same place, you can usually ask your question – however, it is not a fact that it will be answered quickly.

Lawyers T-Z also like to answer tricky legal questions. Submit yours.

Free lawyers help with simple and standard tasks: draw up a claim or a typical lawsuit, advise on contacting the police, help enter into an inheritance. Often these tasks can be solved by yourself – there are enough instructions, samples and templates for documents on the Internet. For example, the website of the Federal Tax Service describes in detail how to register an LLC, and the T-Zh article on the return of goods contains templates for claims, statements, acts and agreements that may be needed in disputes with sellers.

But there are also subtleties. For example, registering a company for a startup is quite simple, but if you make mistakes in the constituent documents, problems with investors may arise. It’s easier to deal with such things with a lawyer.

Debt Buyers

There are lawyers who bring money themselves to work for you. They are debt collectors. They work like this: when someone owes you a lot of money, but does not give it back, a lawyer appears and offers to pay you so that the money will now be owed not to you, but to him. Then he finds a way to get the full amount from the debtor – usually 30% more than he would pay you.

This is often done by car lawyers who come to the scene of an accident and buy the right to claim against an insurance company. Another popular option is lawyers who buy the debts of large bankrupt enterprises.

Single Lawyers

If a free lawyer did not help, and no one owes you a lot of money, then you can find a lawyer who works for himself. It’s cheaper than going to a law firm or hiring a lawyer because solo lawyers have less expenses. They do not rent an office, do not pay membership fees to the Bar Association, and do not give part of the proceeds to their boss. Some don’t even pay taxes.

The fact that solo lawyers charge fewer law firms for their work does not mean that they perform worse. These are ordinary lawyers, it’s just more convenient for them to work that way.

And it also happens that a lawyer works in some company and finds a part-time job on the side. Such lawyers are classy narrow specialists. For example, a hospital lawyer knows better than any lawyer about medical law. He knows what the hospital is most often punished for and understands the psychology of medical officials. He has accumulated a large judicial practice in disputes with the authorities. If you need to deal with a health committee or file a lawsuit against a commercial medical center, finding such a lawyer is a great success.

The biggest disadvantage of singles is that they are hard to find. They cannot afford expensive advertising, and sometimes even hide their activities from the tax authorities and employers. Therefore, they are usually sought through acquaintances, in a chain: you know a programmer who has a lawyer at work, who knows his colleague, who knows a good real estate specialist.

Another option is to look for singles on portals like Avito or Headhunter. If a lawyer is looking for a job, he may not refuse a part-time job.

Prices for the services of solo lawyers are highly dependent on various factors: what kind of business, where the lawyer works, how you agree. There are no standard prices.