I am not eligible for legal aid. What can I do?

Financial help to take legal action is available, but is limited. In order to be eligible for legal aid you have to fall within certain income brackets.

If you do not qualify for legal aid you may still feel you do not have enough money to cover legal costs by yourself.

The Clinic can refer you to a lawyer in private practice who may be willing to take on your case for a reduced fee and the Guyana Bar Association and the Guyana Women Lawyers Associations may also be able to help you.

When talking with a lawyer for the first time, be sure to give all the information about the kind of help you need. Do not be afraid or embarrassed to talk about how much it will cost. You will want to know how much the process will cost under the best and worst case scenarios. Exact figures may be difficult, but the lawyer should be able to give you an idea. If you have limited financial resources, ask if there is any opportunity to work out a payment schedule. Ask to be billed regularly so that you do not receive a big bill at the end.

You can use the legal system yourself or with the help of people who work in the justice system. For example, you can apply for a protection order against an abusive partner by yourself and the staff in the magistrates’ courts should assist you in completing the application form.