There’s nothing worse than having to deal with a legal case and not having the money to defend it. Sometimes, your freedom may be at stake, and you may be desperate for options. That doesn’t mean that you should represent yourself or work with a sub-par legal team, however. There are plenty of things that you can do if you think you won’t be able to pay for your legal fees. Let’s take a look at a few things you can do to pay your legal fees when you have a limited budget.

Make Sure You Know if You’ll Need to Pay in the First Place

The first thing you should know is whether you’ll need to pay legal fees in advance. This is because many cases will only require you to pay once you win, in which case the lawyer will collect part of your settlement. This is often the case with personal injury and workers compensation cases.

Raise Funds

Another thing you could consider is raising funds. If you have a strong story and you do the work, you could end up getting much more help than you expected. Crowdfunding is a way to get money for legal fees and is one of the most common reasons people use services like GoFundMe.

It all starts by carefully crafting your story. You have to write the story in a way that is compelling and will captivate your audience. This could be what makes the difference between them looking the other way or making a donation. You should also try to share your story as much as you can either on social media or by teaming up with local businesses. Crowdfunding services have been used to fund everything from child custody cases to academic integrity, so it is always worth a try.

Look for Arrangements

Many firms will allow you to set up a payment plan so you can pay for your case. This is often the case with criminal defense firms who know that their clients may not necessarily be able to afford the legal fees. You have firms like Conan & Herman, for instance, that will be willing to sit down with you and see what you can afford so they can draft a payment plan that will work for your situation. They have years of experience working on all sorts of criminal defense cases and have a reputation for putting their clients first. They will do everything in their power to make sure that you’re properly represented no matter your budget.

Look for Outside Resources

Many services will assist you if you need legal help but don’t have the means. One is the legal services corporation. You can find federally-funded aid programs through their extensive database and they fund a wide variety of non-profit aid programs around the country.

Another resource you could check out is the American Bar Association. They have a list of nonprofit firms that you can browse. They also have a list of pro-bono service providers that you can check out.

As you can see, there are plenty of things that you can do if you’re strapped for cash but have to pay legal fees. Make sure that you look at all of these options and see which one could work for you.