USPTO, legal practitioners work to provide pro bono help
There is help for inventors and innovators who lack the resources to retain a qualified patent attorney. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has this resource link for pro bono attorneys: www.uspto.gov/patents-getting-started/using-legal-services/pro-bono/inventors. The USPTO emphasizes that among other qualifications, you must have an invention, not just an idea.
Section 32 of the 2011 America Invents Act stipulated that IP organizations throughout the United States work with the USPTO to form pro bono programs. The pilot program, the LegalCORPS Inventor Assistance Program, launched in Minnesota almost immediately; the first patents from the program began issuing in late summer 2013.
The America Invents Act Pro Bono Advisory Council coordinates the efforts of 20 regional pro bono programs and is helping to implement patent pro bono task forces throughout the United States.