You don’t always need to hire a bankruptcy lawyer to help you file your bankruptcy case -- but you should at least take some time to consider the ways a bankruptcy lawyer can help you.
Why Hire a Bankruptcy Lawyer
Bankruptcy law is a specialty, and a good bankruptcy lawyer can make a big difference in the results you get. If you decide to hire a lawyer, you’ll want to find someone who focuses only or almost exclusively on bankruptcy cases, rather than using a general practice lawyer or a lawyer who concentrates on some other legal subject.
Resources for Finding New Jersey Bankruptcy Lawyers
Here are some recommended ways to find a bankruptcy lawyer:
Ask around. Without a doubt, the best way to find a good lawyer is to ask friends, family, work associates -- anyone you know and trust. Even if they don’t personally know a bankruptcy lawyer, they may know another lawyer they like. And that lawyer may be able to direct you to a good bankruptcy attorney. (Likewise, if you’ve successfully worked with a lawyer in the past, get back in touch and ask for a referral to a bankruptcy specialist.)
Ask your local bar association. The New Jersey State Bar Association maintains a lawyer directory. This directory can provide you with names of bankruptcy lawyers in your area who are in good standing with the bar association. Do keep in mind, however, that the bar association won’t screen the lawyers for the amount of experience they have or for their competence. It’s up to you to interview each attorney to find out whether they have the experience you need.
Online lawyer directories. Here are a few websites that offer directories of attorneys serving New Jersey. Because different attorneys list with different directories, we offer you a choice so you can consider a selection of New Jersey bankruptcy lawyers. Like bar association directories, these lawyers have probably not been screened for qualifications or competence. Lawyers usually self-report their information, so be prepared to do your homework and ask each lawyer about his or her experience before hiring anyone.
Justia.com New Jersey Lawyer Directory
National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorney (NACBA) Attorney Finder
Nolo Lawyer Directory of Bankruptcy Attorneys
Directory of Board Certified Consumer Bankruptcy Lawyers Within 50 Miles of Hackensack
Low-cost legal aid services. If your income is low, you may be able to get bankruptcy representation or assistance from a local legal aid organization. Most legal aid offices won’t provide a lawyer to actually represent you, but some will help you handle the process on your own.
Free legal services in New Jersey from Legal Services of New Jersey
Bankruptcy pro bono programs in New Jersey (from ABIWorld)
Your local law school may have a free legal clinic where law students, supervised by their professors, offer legal help. Click on your state to find the law school closest to you.
Finally, if you wish to be directly connected with a bankruptcy lawyer in New Jersey, you can visit our New Jersey Lawyers Page and enter your zip code. A local lawyer will then get in touch with you.