4 Ways to Save $ on Attorney Fees

For most people, the court process is unfamiliar, intimidating, and sometimes confusing. A lawyer will not only help you navigate the process, but will also educate you about the strategy, potential outcomes, and risks involved in your case. Having at least some access to a lawyer can make all the difference in how your case will turn out…but how do people afford it? As part of Bluebird Law’s How to Save $ in Your Family Law Series, here are 4 helpful tips for saving money on attorney fees:

  1. Check if you qualify for a free lawyer. If you meet the state’s income requirements, which in Colorado is generally $3,203 for a family of four with less than $1,500 worth of assets and you haven’t had a court order yet in your case (AKA it is “pre decree”), you may be eligible for a free attorney through Colorado Legal Services, Alpine Legal Services, or Justice and Mercy Legal Aid Clinic. Volunteer branches of local bar associations such as Metro Volunteer Lawyers in Denver also provide pro bono attorneys for people who meet the low-income requirements. Additionally, if you are a victim of intimate partner violence in your relationship, your local Violence Free Colorado program may be able to offer you free legal counsel and/or support. If you are seeking child support or seeking to enforce a child support order, you will get free representation from Colorado Child Support Enforcement Services.
  2. Get free advice from an attorney at a legal clinic. If you are not one of the very few people who qualifies for free legal representation, you can still get free legal advice from an attorney at a legal clinic. Legal clinics are typically evening events in which attorneys with expertise in family law volunteer to provide advice to attendees and to answer their questions. Some family law clinics around the state of Colorado include Metro Volunteer Lawyers; Alpine Legal Services Ask a Lawyer Clinic; and Weld County Legal Services Ask a Lawyer Clinic. For a clinic near you, contact the self-help center of your local court or your local branch of Colorado Legal Services.
  3. Go to the court’s self-help center for information and resources on how to represent yourself. In Colorado we are lucky to have many online resources about the court process online, including information and court forms. Additionally, each court has a self-help desk staffed with clerks who can give basic information about the forms, the court process, and make referrals to attorneys and nonprofit organizations who can help. Representing yourself has never been so accessible. In fact, the majority of people involved in family law cases in Colorado represent themselves.
  4. Find an attorney who offers DIY or unbundled services. When you have the information you need from the self-help center, you can hire an attorney for services that you need help with such as providing specific legal advice, drafting petitions, responses, motions, financial disclosures, and other documents, appearing on your behalf on a limited basis in court or mediation, and coaching you to represent yourself in court. Hiring an attorney just for the services you need empowers you to manage your own case and keep down your legal costs. Bonus points for attorneys who offer services on a flat fee basis rather than billing by the hour, which allows you to budget for your case and manage your costs.

Bluebird Law offers DIY legal services to self-represented clients all over Colorado on a flat fee basis. Schedule your free consultation today.

This article is informational and does not purport to give legal advice.