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How do I find a lawyer willing to take my as probono?

San Jose, CA |
Attorney answers 3


If it's a criminal case, you may be entitled to a Public Defender. If it's a civil matter, you may have a hard time finding an attorney willing to work for free. Attorneys don't classify themselves as Pro Bono.

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Google the meaning of "pro bono." It is different than you assume. When you understand the meaning of the term, you will understand the nature of your search and why it will be difficult.

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"Pro bono" means for free. Maybe you mean on a contingency basis, where the lawyer doesn't get paid unless/until you do, and your case is solid in both liability and damages? Maybe you have the kind of CIVIL case that entitles you to be awarded your attorney's fees, such a constitutional law case, where your acting for the public good, or in a labor law case, where Congress has decided to make it easier for plaintiffs to find lawyers, or a contract case where your contract specifically says that the prevailing party gets their attorney's fees?

As noted, if you're a defendant in a CRIMINAL case, you may be entitled to a free (to you, the taxpayers pay the government who pays the lawyer) to a public defender.

But if your case is CIVIL and the kind of case that doesn't include attorney's fees, understand that we lawyers, like everyone else, have our own charities, and when we work for free, like we do when we answer questions here on Avvo, we can only afford to do that when a cause has a lot of meaning for us.

Avvo doesn't pay us for these responses, and I'm not your lawyer just because I answer this question or respond to any follow-up comments. If you want to hire me, please contact me. Otherwise, please don't expect a further response. We need an actual written agreement to form an attorney-client relationship. I'm only licensed in CA and you shouldn't rely on this answer, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it's impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue.

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