Photo: BrAt82 (Shutterstock) Considering the average hourly rate for a lawyer in America ranges between $100-$300 , many people can’t afford to hire an attorney. There is relief available, however, in the form of legal aid—an umbrella term for any service which provides legal assistance to those with low income. Here’s a look at your options. Public defenders It’s just like the Miranda rights state: If you’re arrested and charged with a crime, you have the right to an attorney. A state-by-state list of public defender organizations can be found here . Otherwise, a judge will appoint you an attorney when you’re formally charged with criminal counts. Federally-funded legal aid There’s a wide array of legal aid options out there, so qualifying will depend on factors like your income, health status, location, and whether your issue is civil or criminal. To find legal help in your area, start with this Find Legal Aid tool created by the Legal Services Corporation, a publicly funded, non-profit organization created by Congress. The site Find Law also has a comprehensive list of legal resources , including those at the state level. And for military families, this website provides links to legal resources, as well as a searchable directory of free legal service in your area. If you’re looking for consumer protection, consult with your state consumer protection offices, found here . Local pro bono programs Bar associations, law schools, and private law firms also offer free legal service, typically with a focus on […]