Do I need to hire a lawyer by the time of my first court appearance?

No.  If you appear at your arraignment and tell the judge you would like to hire a lawyer, they will likely either set another date to give you time to do so, or appoint a public defender (if the charges require it and you are financially eligible).  In either case, if you wish to retain an attorney after your first appearance, you should do so immediately thereafter.

“He saved my career and helped me leave a toxic housing situation … . Overall his representation and legal assistance went above and beyond my expectations.”
– A (They/Them)