If you have a legal problem and the information at this website has confirmed that you have a legal problem or your rights have been violated in some way, you should seek legal assistance. Remember this website is designed to give you basic legal information and is not designed to act as your attorney. The following information will give you some places to start to find assistance if you need it.
Government Agencies – If you have an issue in the workplace the natural place to look for assistance would be to contact your state department of labor. There is a link at the labor/employment section of this website that will link to all of the state department of labor websites. If you think your civil rights have been violated in some way most states will have an office of civil rights.
Non-Profit Organizations – There are quite a few organizations that assist people with legal problems for free. It would be impossible to give you all of the contact information so I’ll give you some steps to take to help you find your resources.
1. If you think your civil rights have been violated by the police, you should contact the American Civil Liberties Union. The national website for the American Civil Liberties Union can be found at www.aclu.org On the home page there is a link labeled “Your Local ACLU”. This link will allow you to find the contact information for the ACLU in your state.
2.Another source for assistance are the legal clinics sponsored by many law schools. Many law schools sponsor clinics where law students under the supervision of law professors and attorneys provide free legal help. Contact the law schools that may be in your state and see if they have any clinics that might be of help.
3. If you are a college student, most colleges will have student legal services offices that will assist students with legal problems.
Finding An Attorney – There are many ways to find an attorney. The simplest way is to look in your local phone book. You can also contact your state bar association. Most of the state bar associations will have links to find attorneys near you and many will have information about any free legal services in your area. The best technique to find your state bar association website would be to go to any search engine and type in your state and “bar association”. For example, “Michigan Bar Association” or “Arizona Bar Association”. Using that search should give you your state’s bar association in the first 5 or 6 listings.
Paying for an Attorney – There are three primary ways that an attorney will be paid. The first is an hourly basis. With this method the attorney will charge you an hourly rate for their services. For example, an attorney might charge $175.00 an hour. If your legal work takes the attorney 3 hours. The attorney would charge you $525.00. An attorney may ask for a retainer(down payment) before he/she begins representing the client. The second method is a flat fee. In a flat fee system the attorney charges a set amount for their services. For example, an attorney might charge a teenager a set $700.00 to handle a misdemeanor alcohol possession ticket. The third method is a contingency fee. In this method the attorney will work for a percentage of the damages awarded to the plaintiff. For example, if a person has been the victim of medical malpractice and is suing the hospital that injured them, the attorney would get a percentage of whatever the jury awards in damages. If the jury awards $300,000.00 the attorney would get $100,000.00 of the $300,000.00. If the jury doesn’t award any damages the attorney won’t get anything. If you have serious legal problems be sure to consult an attorney. Legal problems can become very serious very quickly. Whether it’s a criminal charge, a violation of your rights in the workplace, unpaid child support, or any other problem, take care of the problem! Legal problems will rarely disappear on their own.