In most states, protection order and restraining order laws are designed so that you can go to court without a lawyer. However, if there are children involved, if your abuser has a lawyer, or if you think you might need help, you may want to select a lawyer to make sure that everything is done right. For other cases, like custody, divorce, immigration, etc., it is usually better if you have a good lawyer to help you. If you have been a victim of domestic violence or sexual assault, it is helpful if your lawyer understands the issues you may be facing and has experience working with domestic violence or sexual assault. For more information about Domestic Violence please visit the American Bar Association Commission website.
How do I find a lawyer?
A lawyer referral service can help you find a lawyer who has experience in domestic violence. You should make sure to specifially ask whether they screen for those who are experienced in handling domestic violence cases because not all lawyer referral services do this. If you can’t afford a lawyer, you may be able to get help from a legal aid, who provides free or low-cost legal help. If they can’t help you, they might be able to refer you to someone who can take your case on a sliding scale fee or for free. Some legal aid organizations that give referrals don’t advertise that they do so be sure to specifically ask for a referral if you need one. Shelters and other domestic violence organizations may also be able to provide you with a referral for someone who can take your case for a lower fee. You may also want to try law schools in your area because sometimes they have legal clinics and will take cases for free.
VA & DC – 571-282-6161
6402 Arlington Blvd., Suite 300, Falls Church, VA 22042
MD – 410-999-1900
201 N. Charles St., Suite 920, Baltimore, MD 21201