How will discounted legal services work? How will we decide who gets to use our services? Just how much of a discount is "discounted"? Basically, people want to know, exactly what are we going to be doing with our new organization? And in today's blog post, I'm going to break that down for you.
The whole idea behind Justice Unlocked is getting people who want an attorney help, even when they normally can't afford one. If your matter is civil (like most protective orders, divorces, or business disputes are) then you don't get a free lawyer from the courts. Legal Aid societies might not be able to help you either. There's a lot of people who make "too much" money to get help from these programs, but who don't make enough to afford a quality attorney.
How you'll get Discounted Legal Services
So, what are we going to do about it? We're going to offer discounted legal services on a sliding scale based off of your income level and family size. As a general practice organization, we expect that most of our work will be defending against criminal charges, or working with family law. However, we're not going to limit ourselves to only those practice areas, we'll be happy and excited to help people form businesses, file personal injury law suits, or anything else people need help with. Nationally, the hourly rate for a lawyer is around $233 dollars an hour. However, at Justice Unlocked, you could potentially pay as little as $50 dollars an hour for your discounted legal services. The following chart is based off the federal poverty guidelines for 2015.
|Persons in Family Unit||Annual Income from 125% to 425% of federal poverty level|
|All By Yourself||$14,713||$17,655||$20,598||$23,540||$29,425||$35,310||$47,080||$50,023|
|2 Family Members||$19,913||$23,895||$27,878||$31,860||$39,825||$47,790||$63,720||$67,703|
|3 Family Members||$25,113||$30,135||$35,158||$40,180||$50,225||$60,270||$80,360||$85,383|
|What You'll Pay||$50||$75||$100||$125||$150||$175||$200||$250|
It's that simple! If you make less than 125% of the federal poverty level, then there's lots of free legal aid organizations and charities that we can help refer you to. If you make more than 425% of the federal poverty level? Then you probably make enough money that you can go to a traditional attorney and get great service. For most of us who live in the in-between, it's nice to know that you can get discounted legal services where you only pay based on what you have. Depending on the kind of issue you need help with, we can probably do something flat-rate too, and guarantee you that no matter what happens in your case, you won't pay over a certain amount.
What about discounted legal services for the Victim's Justice Program?
As you've probably been able to tell, we have a special place in our heart for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking. The rate at which women are victimized in our society is a huge problem that affects half the population. And so with government grants, the donations of individual supporters, and the help of our volunteers, victims of these kinds of crimes will usually get free, pro-bono representation. Justice Unlocked is committing to offering up to 10 hours of free legal services to victims of this type of crime. We'll provide help connecting with housing, counselors, and employment opportunities for victims in need. And for other types of legal services when we just can't offer help for free, we'll give clients who come to us through the Clinic for Women discounted legal services at even lower prices than normal.
Do you need help?
If you need legal help in our service area (mostly Monroe, Greene, Morgan, Owen, Lawrence, and Johnson counties in Indiana) then please enter your information into the form below, and someone will schedule you to set up a free consultation.