What if I Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

There are several options available in New Hampshire if you cannot afford a lawyer.

Unbundled Legal Services – One way to reduce costs is to consider hiring a lawyer to handle part of a case (known as “unbundling of legal services.”) Court rules permit attorneys to provide limited legal services if they choose and believe appropriate in your situation. Such services may include drafting a motion, reviewing an agreement or attending one specific hearing, rather than directly handling your entire matter. It is strongly advisable that you sign a client consent form for the use of unbundled services in litigation.

NHBA Reduced-Fee Referral Program provides referrals statewide to qualified individuals who can afford to pay something for an attorney’s services, but who cannot afford an attorney’s regular fees. Call 603-715-3290 to apply or e-mail reducedfee@nhbar.org. You may also apply online.  Intake staff will review your financial situation and will refer you elsewhere if it appears you might qualify for a free legal service.

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The following are legal services available to low-income persons:

NH Legal Assistance (NHLA), a statewide non-profit law firm, provides low-income people with free legal advice and representation in certain civil legal matters. NHLA helps eligible families and individuals with legal problems involving such fundamental needs as food, shelter, income and medical care. There are NHLA offices located throughout the state.

NH Bar Association Pro Bono Referral Program links low-income people in need of legal representation with volunteer attorneys who provide services at no charge in the areas of family law, bankruptcy, housing and senior citizen issues. To apply for a Pro Bono attorney, call one of the following: For family law or housing, call the Legal Advice & Referral Center (LARC) at 1-800-639-5290 or 603-224-3333; for bankruptcy, call Pro Bono at 603-224-5367; for all senior citizen concerns, call the Senior Advice Line – 1-888-353-9944.

The Legal Advice and Referral Center (LARC) operates a telephone service that provides information, legal advice and referral services to low-income people with legal problems in New Hampshire. LARC’s services are provided primarily in the areas of family law, public benefits, and housing. For help from LARC, call 603-224-3333 or 1-800-639-5290.

The DOVE Project provides free legal representation for qualifying survivors of domestic violence at final restraining order hearings. For more information, call your local crisis center, or call the 24-hour crisis line toll-free 1-866-644-3574.

 

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