Can’t Afford a Lawyer?

If you have been served with papers in a lawsuit, you must respond or you may forfeit important rights.  To find out for certain what you must do if you have been served with papers, you must see an attorney and get legal advice from them.  (This web page CANNOT give legal advice! You must see an attorney in person for that!)

Lawyers, in general, devote significant time to worthy causes.  However, most attorneys work for a living and should not be expected to undertake legal representation for free.

If you don’t have a lawyer, the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service has a list of attorneys who have agreed to give initial consultations for a fee of $50.   The link to the S.C. Bar Lawyer Referral Service is HERE .  To reach the telephone service, both in state and out of  state, call (800) 868-2284 .   In Richland and Lexington counties, call  799-7100. The online service is available 24/7.

The intake number for South Carolina Legal Services is:

Toll Free: 888.346.5592
Phone: 803.744.9430
Fax: 803.744.9450

(To qualify for SCLS, your income must not be greater than 125% of the federal poverty level.  To see what the federal poverty level is for the number of people in your household, click HERE.  Then, on top of this, your case must meet additional criteria because there is only funding for the most critical cases.)

(If you have been served with papers, time is urgent.  You must call them today and tell them you’ve been served with papers.)

Divorce:  For a divorce packet for self-represented litigants, click HERE   (This option is only available to parties who have no children and who have reached a complete and permanent settlement with regard to division of property and alimony, and I also do not recommend it if there is retirement savings to be divided.)

Child Support:  If you need child support, you can get help from the S.C. Department of Social Services Child Support Enforcement division without having to pay for a private attorney.  Child support is your child’s right, not yours, and it is the State’s business to make sure that its children are supported.  If you do not qualify for DSS help, there are instructions and forms on the S.C. Supreme Court web site to help parents who need either an increase or reduction in the amount of support.  Click HERE for that link, or HERE is a page on my site with links to the forms themselves.  

Lawyers volunteer thousands of hours of their time through the  S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program program.  Intake for this program is through the phone number above, or dial 1-888-346-5592.

The S.C. Access to Justice Commission works tirelessly to ensure that South Carolinians have equal access to justice, sponsoring many free clinics on legal topics.   This link is to the blog for SCATJC, which will give information.

To do legal research on your own, the following links may be helpful:

Avoid these PREDATORY LENDING practices!

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