If you are in need of the services of an attorney in Sidney MI, but are unable to afford to pay, there are many states and cities that have legal aid service programs in place. Often, these programs are funded in part by human rights organizations, as well as by local bar associations and even specific law firms in Sidney MI. The goal is to ensure that every citizen, regardless of his or her financial circumstances, has access to competent legal counsel when needed. However, do not expect to be able to waltz in and start talking to an attorney within five minutes. Here are some things you should understand about the way these services work.
One of the first things to understand about any legal aid service is that is does not have unlimited resources. For that reason, they have to be able to focus in on helping people who really do need the assistance. Any applicant will be screened to ensure that the individual is not able to afford to pay for legal counsel and still meet other obligations. To this end, the first thing you will need to do is fill out an application, providing information about your present financial circumstances, outstanding debts, the amount of monthly income you have to work with and the bills that are paid out of that income. In some cases, you may be asked for some corroborating documentation, such as paycheck stubs, credit card statements, copies of loan papers, and anything else that will clearly establish you are in need.
Second, be prepared to undergo at least two interviews. These are necessary for two reasons. First, this is the chance for you to articulate exactly what your legal issue is and provide additional information that will flesh out what you provided on your application. Second, this will be the chance for you to verify all the other pertinent information on the application in your own words. As the legal aid service goes through due diligence in verifying your creditors in Sidney MI, income and other factors, you may be asked to come in for another interview or be contacted by phone. Of course, there will be the interview where you are either accepted into the program or are told that you do not qualify. With many programs, you will have the chance to meet your attorney upon acceptance into the program.
Attorneys who choose to devote part of their time to a legal aid service are generally very competent. The service will match up your legal issue with an attorney who had demonstrated the ability to deal with your particular type of legal matter. Keep in mind that in many cases, the attorney is either completely covering the costs of handling the matter, or at least is not being paid any legal fees while the service covers court costs and filing fees in Sidney MI.