you might find an attorney if you call around a lot of firms or solo practitioners. In many states, a lawyer's responsibilities under codes of professionalism established by state bar associations preclude attorneys from half-participation in a case--the responsibility/liability for all that can go wrong in a suit places an attorney who is only 'helping' at great risk. Few attorneys are willing to put their licenses on the line in order to save a pro per money. That said, in a few states (CA being one of them as I recall) the practice is growing. FWIW, the fact that you are specifically looking for a lawyer in a 'distant city' from your own is a red flag that does not improve your chances of finding such a lawyer.
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Many of us, including myself, have engaged in such relationships. But, it is a very delicate relationship so the fit has to be just right. Good luck on your quest.
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Yes, you can do this through an online relationship. The lawyer does not need to be in the same city as you.
You need to be careful here, however. If you are in state court, then it's a bit easier. The lawyer, however, must be licensed to practice law in California, assuming your suit is in a CA state court. Federal courts tend to dislike cases where attorneys help clients but are not on the papers, though that attitude may be slowly changing.
You are not allowed to hire a paralegal instead of a lawyer, as the paralegal is not authorized to give advice or draft pleadings for pro per parties.