Pro Bono Vs Pro Se Legal Representation


Veitengruber Law understands that many of our clients seek out our services precisely because they are financially strapped, or worse. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for us to meet people who are more than $20,000 in debt. By the time they’ve reached out to us, we can see the anxiety written all over their faces. One of the most pressing questions on our clients’ minds is: How much do we charge?

We’ve written about our fees regarding bankruptcy matters before, but let’s just reiterate this part of it first: We are not in this field because we want to make money off of other people’s problems. Our team does need to get paid, but first and foremost, we want you to know that our number one motivator is helping people – NOT getting rich.

Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about a few legal terms that you need to understand when discussing legal fees and low-cost legal representation.

Pro bono = Donating professional services without charging for them

Pro se = A person representing onesself in court

Naturally, it’s totally your prerogative if you decide that you want to represent yourself in court. Anyone is free to do so in any legal matter. Our opinion, however, is that you should never actually represent yourself in court anytime the outcome could significantly impact your life.

It may seem like a form of injustice that criminal defendants are appointed an attorney when they cannot afford one while civil litigants are almost never afforded the same favor. Criminal defendants are involved in a fight for their freedom (avoiding prison time) and/or their lives (avoiding the death sentence), which is why they will be assigned legal counsel at no cost.

People who are involved in civil cases like bankruptcy, foreclosure defense, landlord/tenant disputes and custody disputes are almost never granted the services of a court appointed lawyer if they can’t afford to hire one on their own. Although the details surrounding criminal cases quite obviously have the potential to be life-changing, the outcome of many civil matters can also have considerable consequences. Think: losing custody of a child, losing a home to foreclosure or having your bankruptcy petition denied.

For these reasons, anyone involved in a civil case deserves to have an attorney assigned to them if they can’t afford one. Since that isn’t public policy, you must look to other avenues that will allow you to have legal representation that you can afford.

For affordable legal representation in New Jersey, you can contact the Legal Aid Society located in your county. These groups work with low income residents to match them with an appropriate attorney who will work pro bono or at a reduced rate.

Another option is to select highly experienced attorney groups like Veitengruber Law who allow you to set up payment plans that you can actually afford. We will work with you to put together a unique payment plan that doesn’t impede your financial goals. We understand that even though you have a steady income, a lot of that money is tied up because you are so far in debt.

Our plan is to relieve you of much (if not all) of that debt. Not only will that ensure that you can easily make our monthly payments, but it will also allow you to get caught up on utilities, personal loans and any other living expenses that have been weighing you down for ages.

Lastly, Veitengruber Law doesn’t charge a consultation fee, so you have absolutely nothing to lose by talking with us on the phone and/or setting up an appointment to discuss your legal needs.

Locations/Contact Info:

Wall, NJ 732-852-7295
Marlton, NJ609-297-5226 or 856-318-2759

You can always fill out our online contact form, too!


Image credit: Village Square

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