This depends on the significance of your case and its complexity. If you are pursuing a claim after a minor car accident, and liability is clear, you might be able to work out a favorable settlement without hiring a lawyer. If you are fighting for custody of your children, you might want to hire a lawyer to make sure that you preserve your relationship with them. Or if you are suing a company based on a defective product that injured you, you might want to hire an attorney who understands the technical aspects of these cases and can hire an appropriate expert. If you want to hire a lawyer, but your only concern is that you cannot afford the cost, you can contact local legal aid organizations or the state bar association to see whether you can find free legal assistance.