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Tips on how to get free legal advice in Nigeria

Tips on how to get free legal advice in Nigeria

It is normal for Nigerians to always be searching for legal information on the various aspects of the law. Nigerians will want to get information concerning issues bothering Tenancy, Divorce, Employment law, and even court proceedings. This information is very useful and valuable because as a result of not knowing the law, many Nigerians have been cheated and taken advantage of by unscrupulous elements.

As a Nigerian, you will sometimes need help or assistance depending on the nature of the situation you are in. but this is sometimes extremely difficult, especially when you don’t have the funds to get the legal assistance you desire when you are in need for it.

As an individual who needs legal services and does not have money to pay for them, do not fret yet are there are some private lawyers and organizations which offer free legal help in Nigeria. You should note that most lawyers or organizations will only consider your request if it is obvious that you as a client cannot pay for their legal services.

In this article, we give you tips on how to get free legal advice in Nigeria

1. SCHEDULE A FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION WITH A LOCAL LAWYER

Many lawyers offer 10 minutes to 1 hour consultations free of charge. Check for any lawyer in your area to schedule a time for consultation. You will be the one to call and make inquiries about whether a law firm offers free consultation because they will not state that they offer a free consultation but you can always find out when you ask. 

Many law firms have a referral service that includes free consultancy as part of their service. This way, you can use the 10 minutes of free consultancy to let them know what your problem is and that you require free legal help. 

2. LOOK INTO FEDERAL FUNDED AIDS PROGRAM

There are legal aid programs that employ lawyers to offer free services for eligible people. Legal aids are helpful in cases that involve child violence, landlord and tenant issues, divorce cases, and other legal problems.

To qualify for free legal help or advice, your income must be below the federal government minimum wage in Nigeria. Most federal government legal aided programs support children, women, and physically challenged persons. 

The Legal Aid Council of Nigeria (the LACON) under the federal government and the Legal Aid Council (LAC) are federal government-funded organizations to provide free advice and assistance to those in need of it. They have offices in the six geo-political zones in Nigeria where you can contact them.

The head office of the Legal Aid Council (LAC) is located at Block C, 3rd floor, Head of service, Federal Secretariat Complex in Abuja. You can always visit them when you have any legal problems.

3. FIND A LOCAL PRO BOMO PROGRAM

Pro Bomo simply means services that are delivered free of charge or sometimes at a discounted amount. Local, state, and federal legal firms, as well as non-governmental organizations often conduct Pro Bomo. Before you can be allowed to benefit from any Pro Bomo program, you may have to prove that you are a low-income earner.

There are also private legal firms that have departments within their firms that have Pro Bomo. These types of programs are usually aimed to focus on specific issues that affect society. These issues include child abuse, girl-child education, human trafficking, gender equality, etc.

4. CALL A LEGAL AID HELPLINES 

Legal aid helplines are meant to provide advice to people in specific and urgent situations such as domestic abuse or for legal actions. Most times this advice is given free of charge since it is an urgent situation that needs to be addressed before it gets out of hand. 

What you need to do is to search for legal helplines in your state and find the one that will give you advice that is suitable to the situation you are in. this way, adequate and sufficient advice needed to address your legal problem will be given to you without payment of any consultation fee.

5. SEARCH FOR A LAW SCHOOL THAT OFFERS FREE LEGAL SERVICES

Some law schools in Nigeria now allow their law students to give free legal advice to those with legal problems. This is done to help the students gain relevant experience in the field before they become licensed lawyers. 

While the students give advice to issues relating to domestic violence, petty criminal matters, and matters concerning the rights of the citizens, they are supervised by experienced law professors so that they don’t go beyond their limits and ensure that they give the right advice.

6. USE THE “ASK A LAWYER” RESOURCES

“Ask a Lawyer” resources create a platform where people can ask law practitioners specific questions on various legal issues. This program is usually meant to create awareness regarding their civic rights and duties, child abuse, human trafficking, etc.

You can use this as an opportunity to get free legal advice regarding some legal problems you might be facing. You can also attend events such as seminars, workshops, and symposiums organized by law establishments. In most cases, free legal advice are given to participates. You can also use it as an opportunity to ask questions regarding any legal problems and get the solution.

As mentioned earlier, there are organizations that offer free advice and services to people that request it but there are criteria you need to meet. Below are some organizations where you can get free legal advice in Nigeria.

BAOBAB for Women’s Human Rights

Rights Enforcement and Public Law Centre (REPLACE)

Project Alert

Constitutional Rights Project

Lift Above Poverty Organization (LAPO)

Women Aid Collective (WACOL)

Human Empower Initiative (JEI)

Human Rights Law Service (HURILAWS)

The above is a list of just a few of the organizations which offer some form of free legal advice and services. Women and children are mostly always eligible to get such free assistance than men. Most of these organizations are aimed at protecting the rights of vulnerable citizens of the country. 

Ensure that you clearly understand their terms and conditions before you engage in their free services. This way, you will know when and how to approach them to get free legal advice and services. 


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