On a whim in Michigan
I'm sure rules may have changed in 30 years, but in Michigan, you could simply go to the court house, ask for a petition to change your name, hand write in the information, didn't have to be typed or handled by an attorney, paya $25 filing fee. You had to post an ad in a local newspaper, for 2 weeks I believe, your intent to change your name...this was so creditors and any other nosey people could know your business. Then you took proof of the ad and filed it with the county clerk and got a court date. The judge would ask if this name change were for fraudulent intent or to hide from creditors...you say "no" to both questions and it's done, the judge grants the name change, no matter how bizarre (or normal) it may be. The harder part is all the paperwork afterwards...changing ID's, work/school information, car titles, etc.
Alabama, the county we live in, refuses to allow a person to change their name without using an attorney, though I believe this is just to grease one another's palms, as the law here clearly states that the petition for name change can be filed by the person desiring the name change, along with any filing fees asociated with the petition...no mention of the attorney requirement (and it is quite costly to hire an attorney for a simple name change).