What is Legal Information?
Any person who is familiar with the law can give legal information. This is different from legal advice. It’s simply a statement about the law that isn’t applicable to any particular situation. The recipient is left to decide how to proceed.
It is important to be able to tell when you need legal advice and when you just need information because of the high cost of hiring a lawyer.
Do I need legal advice or information?
If you have a legal problem, it is important to seek advice. This could include filing a lawsuit, or being sued.
A person may also want to consult an attorney if they are confronted with a contract they don’t understand.
Legal advice refers to information that is specific and tailored to specific issues. In many other situations, legal information can be useful.
A person may have a question about whether or not a particular act is legal. However, it does not need to be specific. The legal situation should suffice. The majority of legal information is general and does not address a particular problem.
What are my options for legal advice?
Individuals will not be required to pay for all legal advice. If they are accused of a crime, and they face jail time, they might be eligible to receive free legal advice from a court-appointed attorney.
If an individual is determined to be indigent, they may be eligible for free legal assistance. Individuals who have indigent representation may be required to reimburse part of the court’s costs.
Depending on the law area, you may be eligible for free legal aid. You can find websites that allow you to connect with an attorney right away and answer your basic questions.
A legal consultation is another way individuals can get legal advice. Many lawyers offer initial consultations or meetings free of charge to both the attorney and the client so that they can decide if the attorney should represent them in their specific legal matter.
An attorney will also use the consultation to determine if they are competent and legally able to represent the potential client. Important to remember that an initial consultation does not imply that the attorney has taken over the case or is representing the potential client.
An attorney cannot legally represent a client unless they have signed a written representation agreement. The client or attorney must also be able to show that they consent to the representation by signing the agreement.