1. Think about what you need

Think about the type of lawyer or paralegal that you want to work with. For example, find out if they:

  • have experience dealing with cases like yours
  • can work with a disability you have
  • speak a language you understand or can help you find an interpreter
  • accepts a legal aid certificate, if you have one or are eligible for one

Think about where the lawyer or paralegal is located. You may need to meet with them or give them important documents many times. For this reason, you may prefer a lawyer or paralegal who is close to your home or workplace.

Make a list of a few lawyers or paralegals to contact. You may need to call a few lawyers or paralegals before finding one that will take your case and you’re comfortable with.

Unbundled services

Some lawyers provide “unbundled” or “limited scope ” services. This means you pay them to help you with part of your case. For example, you could pay a criminal lawyer to represent you at a and not for your whole case.

Unbundled services are not always a good idea for criminal cases, but they could be a useful option for you if:

  • you don’t qualify for legal aid
  • you can’t afford to hire a lawyer to help with your whole case

Some lawyers have websites that say if they offer unbundled services. Others do not, but if you ask them, they may be willing to offer it to you. The National Self-Represented Litigants Project website has a directory of lawyers who offer unbundled services.

Or, if you can’t afford to hire a lawyer for your whole case, you may be able to find a lawyer who will talk to you about your case and the options you have. This is sometimes called a consultation.

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