Free lawyers can help you navigate the legal system, but they also pose a significant risk to your personal safety, according to a new report.
According to the Free Lawyers Network, the nonprofit advocacy group for lawyers, the number of people who are being represented by a lawyer in the United States has increased by more than 4 percent since 2014, but there are a growing number of attorneys who are charging fees for their services, with some charging $500 or more per hour.
In many states, free lawyers can be seen as a cheaper alternative to paying lawyers, but experts caution that many of the people who have been using them don’t have a background in criminal law, and their practices are unregulated.
The report also says that while some free lawyers are willing to take on clients with a history of violence or domestic violence, many are also reluctant to take a client with mental health issues, which is why many of them are turning to social media to help them navigate the system.
In some states, it’s easier to find free lawyers than in others.
Free lawyers in New York are required to undergo training on mental health, criminal law and the legal profession, while those in Arizona are not required to go through such training.
Free lawyers can also be seen by some as a way to get a discount on some of their more expensive clients.
In California, for example, a California attorney who works for a non-profit that provides legal representation to people with disabilities can charge an attorney fees up to $3,000 per hour, but it’s difficult to tell if a lawyer charges more than that in some states.
According, Free Lawyers, there are currently over 5 million licensed attorneys, of which about half are in practice.
The organization recommends that anyone who is considering becoming a lawyer get their background checked before starting an online practice.