A Law Career

What Are the Odds an Attorney Will Litigate a Case for Free?

by Ruby Mckinney

It's no secret suing for damages can be expensive which, unfortunately, stops a lot of people from pursuing the compensation they deserve. If you can't afford to hire an attorney, you may be wondering if you can get one to work for free. It's possible, but here are two things lawyers consider before taking on pro bono work.

Does the Case Align With Their Personal Interests?

Most lawyers do free legal work at some point in their careers, but they tend to be picky about the type of cases they accept. Generally, they will only accept cases that align with their personal needs and interests. For example, a personal injury attorney may do pro bono work for low-income women who experienced pregnancy discrimination as part of a larger interest in supporting reproductive rights.

Thus, if you want an attorney to take on your case for free, it must first fall into the person's realm of concern. Luckily, the reasons driving lawyers to take on pro bono work are as varied and widespread as the number of people practicing law. Some do it for altruistic reasons, while others take on cases that help them advance their careers. You'll need to figure out what the attorney cares about and position your case as being one that relates to them.

Be aware, though, that even if your case has all the hallmarks of something they're passionate about, the attorney may still decline. In that case, don't be afraid to ask the lawyer to recommend someone else who may be interested and able to provide free legal help for your case.

Is There a High Chance of a Positive Outcome?

Another thing an attorney considers when deciding whether to take on pro bono work is the chance of a successful outcome. If it's fairly obvious you will lose your case, the lawyer will decline to take it because, in the end, it'll just be a waste of effort for both you and them. Likewise, the attorney would be more willing to take your case if it looks like they can achieve a positive resolution for you.

However, the lawyer will also factor in how long it would take to reach the end of the lawsuit and how much he or she would need to invest to get there. An attorney may decline to take on a promising case pro bono if it will take years to get results or requires a lot of time to manage. This is because attorneys typically have other cases they're working on at the same time to earn income, and the lawyer may be afraid they won't be able to give your case the full attention it deserves.

Discuss your case's potential with the lawyer and see what you can do to make it easier for the person to accept it.

For help with your personal injury lawsuit, contact a personal injury attorney.