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If you don’t have a prepaid legal plan as part of your work benefits, you still may be able to get discounted legal advice if you are a member of certain organizations. Many groups offer their members discounted legal services as a benefit for being a member of the group.
For example, AARP (www.aarp.org) allows their members to have a free, 30-minute consultation, either over the phone or in person. In addition to the initial consult, they offer estate-related products (simple wills, power of attorney, living wills) at drastically reduced rates and a 20% discount off the usual attorney fees on other legal services. As with the prepaid legal insurance, you only receive these preferred rates by using their network of attorneys.
Some groups will offer more limited coverage to their members. For example, the American Automobile Association (AAA) offers legal representation if you feel you have been wrongly charged with a moving violation. They will reimburse attorney fees up to a specified limit based on the charge.
It’s worthwhile to look into other organizations of which you are a member (professional, civic, etc.) and see if they offer any legal benefits to their members. Using coverage from various sources may provide you a low-cost way to get a second opinion on your case. For example, one could use the free 30-minute consultation from AARP to confirm the plan of action recommended by another lawyer from another group.