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Can Good Legal Advice Be Free?

Eric Gehler

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The services of an attorney can often be expensive depending upon the type of legal advice required. While many lawyers offer a free consultation for a variety of services, most will wait until hired to provide true legal advice. Millions of people are unable or unwilling to pay for this advice. Some may simply be unable to afford it. Others may consider such advice unworthy of the accompanying fee. Still others may believe they can find legal information about their personal circumstances online, thereby avoiding having to hire an attorney.

Below, we'll briefly discuss the nature of legal advice and how legal websites may do more harm than good. Finally, we'll offer advice on how to find a good lawyer when the need arises.

How Is Legal Advice Defined?

As legal advice is generally understood and recognized, it must come from a bonafide lawyer. That is, if a person works for an attorney, but is not licensed or certified by the State Bar, the advice that person provides will not be recognized in a court of law as “legal advice. " In short, it is unreliable.

Using Legal Websites

There are thousands of websites which offer legal information. Those who visit these websites are rewarded with a rich experience of informative counsel and guidance regarding a wide range of legal matters. But, the information on these websites should not be considered legal advice delivered from a licensed attorney. It should be regarded only as opinion.

There are a number of potential drawbacks of using legal websites to gain insight about the law. First, the information isn't reliable (as mentioned above). It may be accurate, but you cannot trust that it is. If the information turns out to be false, you will have no recourse. Second, legal matters are often complex and each person's situation has unique dynamics. A website can only offer general information that is nonspecific. Without a lawyer's legal advice that addresses a person's distinct needs, such information is usually of negligible value.

When You Need A Lawyer

First, you should understand that hiring the services of a good lawyer may not cost as much as you think. Often, attorneys are compensated if and when you win your case. Second, many lawyers will offer a free consultation to prospective clients. Take advantage of this. It's an opportunity for you and the lawyer to determine if working together makes sense. Finally, try to speak with an attorney who has experience with your type of situation. In many cases, the price you'll pay for their guidance will pay for itself over and over. While expert legal advice from a licensed attorney isn't typically free, it can be invaluable.

Consider these Virginia Criminal Defense Lawyers and Virginia Personal Injury Attorneys when in need of legal services


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