There may come a time when you need to find a lawyer to help you with a legal problem, such as a car accident, eviction, or order of protection. There are many different ways you can find a lawyer that is right for you if you're in need of legal help.
1. Ask a lawyer friend
Do you know any lawyers? Have any of your friends or family members had a good experience with a lawyer recently? If so, you should start by calling that lawyer.
What if that lawyer only handles divorces and you need to file for bankruptcy? That's ok. There is a high chance that a divorce lawyer in your town knows a good bankruptcy lawyer and can point you in the right direction.
Lawyers usually know who has a good reputation in the community in which they practice. Regardless of their practice area, a local lawyer should be able to help you find someone that understands your legal needs.
2. Contact a lawyer referral service
If you don't know any lawyers, then a lawyer referral service may be a good starting point for you. If you live in or near Nashville, Knoxville, Memphis, or Chattanooga, there's a lawyer referral service for you.
Lawyer referral services refer you to lawyers who are:
- Experienced in the type of legal issue you’re facing;
- In good standing with the board of professional responsibility; and
Referral services usually charge a small fee for the referral and the attorneys charge their regular rates. Since rates vary among attorneys, be sure to ask any lawyer you meet for their hourly rates and how they bill clients.
There are four referral services in Tennessee. To see if there's one in your area, click here:
3. Can't afford a lawyer?
You may not need to pay anything up front. In certain cases, like car accidents or medical malpractice, lawyers only get paid if you get paid through a settlement or judgment at the end of the case.
In other matters, like evictions, orders of protections, conservatorships, or senior issues, you may qualify for free legal help. If you're financially eligible for services and your local legal aid program has the resources, they can sometimes represent you for free.
There are legal aid programs in every county as well as other non-profits that provide free legal services. To find one near you, click search:
HELP4TN Blog posts are written by TALS staff attorneys. This blog is not legal advice, but it is legal information to help you learn about your rights. If you have questions about this blog or about your legal situation, you can talk to a lawyer for free at 1-844-HELP4TN (1-844-435-7486).