“Anyone know of a low cost or pro bono lawyer that can help me in my divorce and custody case?”

“Anyone know of a low cost or pro bono lawyer that can help me in my divorce and custody case?”
There are at least two long-established offices I know of that provide legal services to the poor, and that only provide legal services to the poor. They are not for everyone, they are for the poor. If the amount of money you make is above their cut off point, you cannot qualify for their reduced cost or free services. The names of these offices are:

Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake

Utah Legal Services

(other non-profit or not-for-profit low-cost legal divorce and family law and domestic violence legal services offices pop up from time to time, but they often go out of business because they can’t afford to stay open. Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake Utah Legal Services, however, have stood the test of time)

So if you are poverty-stricken and in need of the kind of legal services these offices provide, it’s good to know of these resources. But remember that these are basic resources. I imagine that those who operate and manage Legal Aid Society of Salt Lake and Utah Legal Services would be the first to tell you that the breadth and quality of their legal services are not the same as those provided by for-profit law firms.

Again, by way of analogy, a soup kitchen or a food pantry is better than nothing (and more than appreciated when you are hungry), but they aren’t five-star restaurants, they’re not intended to be, and they never will be. So it’s silly to be “disappointed” when non-profit services don’t match the quality of for-profit law firms. If you qualify for these kinds of legal services, be grateful. The people that work at these offices are doing you a favor. So don’t act entitled, if and when you should find yourself utilizing the services. Understand they cannot be all things to all people.

Good legal services are quite often expensive because they are difficult and demanding and cannot be done by just anybody. Asking lawyers to work cheap or free would be like asking the grocery store to give you a free sack of groceries. They can’t afford to do that.
So what do you do if you can’t afford to pay a lawyer and don’t qualify for the free or low-cost lawyers?
If you can’t afford to pay a lawyer in money, then see if you can find a lawyer who you can work for in trade. If you run a lawn care service or paint houses, see if the lawyer will agree to you doing that kind of work for him or her in trade If you’re a plumber or a carpenter, you get the idea. Remodel a kitchen, fix some leaky pipes. Lawyers need these services, and they love to get it in trade oh, if you make it worth their while (and no, this is not a way for lawyers to avoid paying taxes on income–if the attorney doesn’t ask you for a bill just want you sure you are 1099, so that he/she has to report the value of the trade on his/her income taxes, you’re dealing with a crook).

Find a way to trade something of value, if you don’t have money. That’s a far better solution than looking for some lawyers cheap or free.  Cheap and free services are, nine times out of ten, crappy services. Legal services are no exception.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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