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Columns | Go Far With Kovar

Affordable
Legal Advice

by Taylor Kovar

Hi Taylor: Do you have any experience helping your clients find affordable legal advice? I'm trying to work out some contract issues and want to make sure everything is legally sound, but there's no way I can afford a lawyer for the work I need done.

Hi Leo:
Few things drain a bank account faster than legal fees. I have advised some clients on this, because you can get a lot of information without paying someone $300/hr. Here are a few tactics I've seen work over the years, though every situation is a little different.

1. Contact the local bar association. This is an interesting option that actually works for a lot of people. If there are young lawyers offering pro-bono assistance, that information can sometimes be found through the bar association. Finding a lawyer working for free as a means of getting experience is the best you can hope for when handling small matters. If there isn't a pro-bono option, you might still be able to get information about other services or organizations that can help, such as a legal aid society.

2. Visit a law school.
If you only need basic information to ensure your contracts are in order, the library of a law school might have the resources you're looking for. In addition to lots of reading material, you can connect with a law student who has plenty of knowledge but isn't yet licensed to practice. You might even offer a small amount of money to keep everything on the up and up, and essentially get the same service you would from a professional lawyer for a fraction of the cost.

3. Look into online legal services.
When you don't have to book a full hour of a person's time, the cost goes way down. Digital attorney services are available for minor issues and usually allow you to save a lot of money. You may have to work through your share of robots before connecting with a person who can offer guidance and work out a reasonable price, but it's an option worth considering.

4. Barter. If you know a lawyer and don't want to ask for free service, have you thought about some sort of exchange? This isn't as common as it once was, but lawyers still do a lot of work for trade. If you or someone you know can offer a product or service in exchange for a little legal counsel, you might be able to get everything you need without spending a dime.

So many people hire lawyers without realizing how much the invoice will come out to. If you have a way to avoid those fees, it's definitely worth it. Good luck, Leo!


Taylor Kovar March 14, 2022
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Legal Disclaimer: Information presented is for educational purposes only and is not an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any specific securities, investments, or investment strategies. Investments involve risk and, unless otherwise stated, are not guaranteed. Be sure to first consult with a qualified financial adviser and/or tax professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. To submit a question to be answered in this column, please send it via email to Question@GoFarWithKovar.com, or via USPS to Taylor Kovar, 415 S 1st St, Suite 300, Lufkin, TX 75901.


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