To help you find a lawyer and work with them effectively, we gathered various resources that you may find useful. The guide includes online articles, library books, FAQs, and links to relevant Texas agencies and court rules.
People often hire an attorney when facing criminal charges or a lawsuit. Executors in many probate proceedings are also required to hire an attorney, as they represent the estate rather than themselves.
But an attorney can help in many other situations. Whenever you encounter legal complexities, they can help you learn about your rights, represent your interests, and give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Example scenarios include:
Law firms often offer a free initial consultation, which can help you determine if hiring a lawyer is the right choice for you. Our Finding an Attorney page has more information on choosing an attorney and the questions to ask.
"Small claims" refers to legal disputes of $20,000 or less. Justice of the Peace Courts, also known as small claims courts, are less formal than district or county courts. People often represent themselves, and hiring an attorney isn't required. It can still be helpful, however, especially if you have a less-than-straightforward case.
The role of an attorney will vary depending on the client's needs. Attorneys can:
The articles below discuss the types services you might expect from a lawyer.
If you only need limited services or can't afford full representation, limited scope representation or "unbundled legal services" can be an affordable alternative. An attorney may provide an hour or two of legal advice, help you fill out a form, or help you represent yourself in a case. Ask an attorney if they offer this type of limited service that could help you save on costs.
If you don't want to hire an attorney for your simple question, some legal hotlines offer free legal assistance over the phone or online. You may have to meet certain income requirements to qualify for this service.
If you're facing criminal charges and can't afford an attorney, you may be eligible for a court-appointed attorney.
Parties to most civil lawsuits do not qualify for court-appointed attorneys, with some exceptions. You may be able to apply for free legal aid or find a public service or "pro bono" attorney willing to take your case.
These printed resources on the subject are available for in-person borrowing at the library.