Private Bar Lawyers
Free or low-cost services from lawyers in private practice
As well as the Lawyer Referral Service, lawyers in private practice provide three main free or low-cost services. These are:
- Free initial consultations: Many lawyers will provide up to 30 minutes of free advice to new clients. After the first interview, clients are expected to make financial arrangements for further services.
- Contingency fee agreements: When a client has a legal problem that may result in compensation at the conclusion of their case (for example, personal injury matters), many lawyers are prepared to provide advice and representation on a "contingency fee" (percentage fee) basis, where they do not collect their fees unless and until the case is resolved successfully for the client. However, clients are usually expected to pay the lawyer's disbursements (out-of-pocket expenses) along the way.
- Pro bono services: Law firms are encouraged to provide at least some pro bono (free-of-charge) services every year. The extent of these services may extend from advice to full representation.
Contacting a private bar lawyer
One of the best ways to find the names of lawyers in your area is through your local phone book. Many of the ads will state whether the firm offers "free initial consultations." Also, some lawyers will let you know if you can do some of the work yourself, to reduce costs.
Pro bono legal services are more difficult to find. However, many lawyers register their availability to do pro bono work with services such as Access Pro Bono.
In law, the physical railing separating the public gallery in a courtroom from the area where the judge and lawyers sit; lawyers as a group; where lawyers go after work.
A person licensed to practice law in a particular jurisdiction. See "barrister and solicitor."