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How to find free Legal Resources Online

Finding free legal help online can be challenging. This blog post explores steps anyone can take to find free legal resources.

When you need legal help, just knowing where to ask your questions can be a huge challenge.

Type a legal problem into Google and you’ll be faced with a barrage of legal services, websites, apps, directories, lawyers and more. Wading through all that information can take a lot of time and lead to different, seemingly equally valid, answers and options for the same question.

Searching is made even more difficult because legal needs are usually difficult to express in a few keywords. It’s often hard to know whether a problem is serious enough to warrant seeking out a lawyer. Sometimes it’s something you can handle on your own, sometimes all you need is some direction or information.

For these reasons and more, a Google search alone is often not enough to track down the appropriate legal resources. That being said, with a bit of time and effort, and the right approach, it is possible to find what you need.

1. Get Organized

When facing a legal problem, I recommend starting out by getting organized. This will help you clearly define your needs. Gather all relevant documents and write out a chronology of the events and developments that have occurred. This can be done in a spreadsheet, or even on a piece of paper. With this done, the situation might become clearer, allowing you to be as efficient and concise as possible when searching, submitting summaries for analysis, and making phone calls.

2. Define Your Keywords

Next, you’ll want to identify the key words and phrases you think are the best suited to helping you find what you need. Choose keywords to describe the legal problem or need, and add the name or your province and/or city. Legal rules and regulations differ by province, so it’s important to search for information in the province where the legal situation is occurring.

3. Refine Your Search

It is important to be patient and detail-oriented. You may want to start by submitting your question to Cosquare. Once you receive an answer, you can use the information provided as the basis for searching additional resources. Using refined keywords and province-specific searches, you should start finding some results. Once you select a resource that might be a fit for you, you can dive deeper looking into how that resource works and what the costs may be.

If you’re still not sure where to go, type in your keywords and location along with the word “information”. Many legal education websites also contain links to government-sponsored and not-for-profit resources. Before turning to a law firm, it can be worthwhile to explore these resources as well.

4. Take Advantage of Government-Provided Resources

Several provinces have legal education websites, such as Clicklaw in British Columbia, Éducaloi in Quebec, and CLEO in Ontario. All provinces offer legal aid services. A visit to these websites or a call to your province’s legal aid department can be a quick way for you to get guidance and direction for your situation without the high costs typically associated with an attorney.

5. Seek Out Free Help

Many lawyers and legal service, including coSquare, offer either a free consultation, a free phone call, or a free online option to submit a question. Take advantage of these opportunities where appropriate. Make sure to be concise when explaining your situation, and efficient with your time and be clear about your situation and expectations. If you’ve expressed your need or issue clearly, the chances are high that you will be able to quickly find helpful guidance or be referred to the right service or provide.

6. Follow Up on Referrals

It may take you a few tries to find the right government service or non-profit organization. Don’t give up if the first resource you try only gives you a referral to a different resource, accept the information and contact the organization you were referred to.

7. Don’t Settle

There are thousands of options out there for you to find legal help. Be patient and scope out all available resources before deciding how to proceed.

There are thousands of options out there for you to find legal help. Be patient and scope out all available resources before deciding how to proceed.

Legal problems are often stressful and difficult. The fact that finding legal resources can be such a huge challenge only makes matters worse. Fortunately, as technology improves, so do the options for finding real legal help. The internet has opened the door to thousands of legal resources, but a dedicated approach is still required to navigate them all effectively. If you have run into roadblocks on your legal resource hunt, send us a question HERE and we’ll point you in the right direction!


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