The community legal services Philadelphia has are some of the best around, designed to help those in need when they have legal issues that they cannot afford a lawyer to assist them on. Community legal services include a collection of lawyers and attorneys who are dedicated to helping those in need of legal counsel. It is less a charity and more a selfless public service, because those lawyers believe that everyone should be allowed competent legal assistance if they need it, and that money should not be able to determine the outcome of a case, just by how much you can or cannot pay a lawyer.
Before you accept a state appointed attorney, browse through a community legal services directory. The lawyers that you can find through that community legal services directory will often be a better option for you than what the state can give you. This is not to disparage the state attorneys, as they could very well be some of the best that the state has seen. But there is a problem with the state appointed attorney system in the United States.
It has been found that attorneys working with the state are grossly overworked to the point where they do not have any time to dedicate to a single case. It is just a revolving door for them. They browse over your case file 20 minutes before walking in the room to talk to you for another five minutes, and then you do not see them until your court date. Again, this is no reflection on their work ethic, they are just overburdened with appointees, so much that it is impossible for them to give anyone a fair chance.
That is why, if given the option, you should look into a community legal services directory. Finding an attorney there will get you the attention that you need, and you can be assured that your case will get all of the hard work that it deserves. Just because you cannot afford the thousands upon thousands of dollars it costs for an attorney, does not mean you do not deserve effective and competent legal representation. If you get that summons, not all is lost. Just remember the services that are available to you.