Where to Get Cheap Legal Advice If You Can’t Afford a Lawyer

Being in the need of legal help can be a scary thing. Most of us don’t understand legal terminology, and wouldn’t care to learn unless we’ve handed a legal problem by life. Luckily for us ordinary everyday people, there are not for profit and private organizations that dedicate themselves to helping those in need of legal assistance.

Legal Aid

There are many legal aid offices throughout the United States. Most legal aid offices are not for profit and provide free legal help to those that can’t afford it. Although many offices will provide payment plans for middle-income folks. Below are services that legal aid offices can help you with:

Domestic Violence

If you or your child are being  physically abused a legal aid can assist you with getting a protective order

Family Law

If you are married and have children, a legal aid can help you with custody, divorce and child support services

Housing

Legal aids can also assist if you are being evicted or in foreclosure

Public Benefits

If you are having issues with medicare, SSI, food stamps, or welfare a legal aid may be able to help.

Gather the Facts

When it comes to legal disputes, evidence is key. Gather as many documents, photos and witnesses as possible. Once you find legal assistance, they will need as much supportive evidence as you can produce. Usually, legal issues are time sensitive, so it’s best to get started as soon as possible.

Private Organizations

There are numerous private organizations that do offer free legal advice, aid, legal services, even free lawyers. Here’s a list.

1. Lawyers 

When you find yourself in a position where you need legal assistance, your first step should be to contact a lawyer. Many lawyers offer free consultations either in person or over the phone.

Pro Bono

The above link will provide you with a statewide directory of pro-bono services. You should contact your local office to get all of the required information before making an appointment. Below we have listed statewide pro-bono organizations.

American Immigration Lawyers Association Bedford Hills Pro Bono Program

122 East 42nd St

New York, NY 10016

212-867-3810
Case Types: Immigration
Case Restrictions: Woman in state prison system who is in danger of deportation or removal proceedings.

Rural Law Center of New York Inc.
56 Cornelia St
Plattsburgh, NY 12901
518-561-5460
Case Types: Community Economic Development, Employment, Health, Individual Rights, Child Custody, Dissolution of Marriage, Education, Elder Law, Juvenile, Housing, Public Benefits, Termination of Parental Rights, Wills.

Capital District Women’s Bar Association
6 Executive Park Drive
Albany, NY 12203
518-435-1770
Case Types: Child Custody, Divorce, Bankruptcy, Domestic Violence, Housing, Immigration, Real Estate

Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. Volunteer Attorney Program
901 N. W. 8th Ave Suite D-5
Gainesville, FL 32601
352-372-0519
Case Types: Bankruptcy,Consumer, Adoption, Child Custody, Elder Law, Domestic Violence, Termination of parental rights and Real Estate.

Pro BAR
301 E Madison Ave

Harlingen, TX 78550
956-425-9231
Counties Served: Nationwide
Case Types: Immigration, Individual Rights
Case Restrictions: Legal services for individual seeking asylum.  As well as immigrants detained by the INS.

Bay Area Legal Aid Marin/Napa Regional Office
30 North San Pedro Road Ste 250
San Rafael, CA 94903
415-479-8224
Case Types: Domestic Violence, Housing, Public Benefits
Case Restrictions: Low-income

Disability Rights Legal Center
Primary Address: 919 S Albany St
City: Los Angeles
State: CA 90015
213-736-1031
Case Types: Housing, Individual Rights
Other Case Types: Cancer Advocacy, Disability Rights, Special Education

Champaign County Bar Association Pro Bono Program
Primary Address: 1817 S Neil St Ste 203
Champaign, IL 61820
217-356-1351
Case Types: Adoption, Bankruptcy, Child Custody, Dissolution of Marriage, Elder Law, Wills.

Land Of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation
1817 S Neil St
Champaign, IL 61820
217-356-1351
Case Types: Bankruptcy, Child Custody, Dissolution of Marriage, Wills.

Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation
100 N La Salle St Ste 900
Chicago, IL 60602
312-332-3508
Case Types: Adoption, Bankruptcy, Community Economic Development, Child Custody, Domestic Violence, Divorce, Elder Law, Health, Housing, Immigration, Public Benefits.

Chicago Legal Advocacy For Incarcerated Mothers CLAIM
70 East Lake Street 1120
Chicago, IL 60601
312-675-0912
Counties Served: Statewide
Case Types: Child Custody, Individual Rights, Juvenile, Dissolution of Marriage, Termination of Parental Rights

Fresh Start Clinic Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project
42 S 15th Street 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19102
215-523-9511
Case Types: Bankruptcy
Case Restrictions: CBAP only accepts clients with consumer debt problems and provides representation in CH. 7 bankruptcies.

Local Bar Associations

The American Bar Association is a membership service for attorneys from all backgrounds. They pride themselves on professionalism and dedication to the justice system. The legal service department can provide you with information on low-cost services in your area.

2. Self-Help Clinics

Along with local clinics, there are online sites where you can purchase any legal form you need. As a rule of thumb, you should check with your local court. Most courts provide legal forms, filing fees, and filing instructions online. Below, we have listed self-help clinics in 5 major cities. Every county has a district court. It is important to call ahead to confirm that you have the correct location.

Bronx County Family Court Volunteer Attorney Program
900 Sheridan Avenue
1st Floor
Bronx, NY 10451
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9:00am – 4:30pm

Housing Court & Civil Court Help Center
141 Livingston Street, Room 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201

California Court Self-Help Center

900 Third Street
San Fernando, CA 91340

Note: There are numerous locations, call ahead to confirm.

Chicago Self-Help Centers

Flora Public Library
216 N. Main St
Flora, IL 62839

Houston, Texas Civil Self-Help Center

504 E. Main Street in Bellville

To confirm dates, times, and locations, please call (979) 826-8484

Self-Help Movement

2600 Southampton Road
Philadelphia. PA . 19116
(215) 677-7778

Arizona Self-Help

Arizona Supreme Court
1501 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ  85007

Indianapolis Self-Help Centers

Indiana Supreme Court
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian St., Suite 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation

10 West Broad Street, Suite 950
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3483
(614) 715-8560

Colorado Judicial Branch

109 8th St.
Suite 104
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601

Northwest Justice Project

401 Second Avenue S, Suite 407
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 464-1519 or 1-888-201-1012
Client Intake – call 211

Legal Aid of North Carolina

224 S. Dawson Street

Raleigh, NC 27601
1-866-219-LANC

3. Local Law Schools

Most law schools have low cost to pro bono legal services. Schools require students to perform a number of hours of law-related services. Students provide pro bono services for academic credit. Contact your local university to inquire.

Free  / Cheap Legal Aid Website Resources

There are numerous online websites that allow you to consult with a lawyer for free. Many can give you a consultation on your exact situation. Some websites have membership or donation fees.

Free Advice.com

Free Advice provides senior, insurance, and legal advice free to customers. They also have local listings of lawyers in your area. They also have a list of laws by states and free legal documentation.

Rocket Lawyer.com

This website allows you to talk to a lawyer and ask a question at no charge. You can also file legal documents through their website starting at $39.95 a month.

Law Help.org

LawHelp provides information for low-income individuals to find free legal aid programs in their communities.

Avvo.com

Avvo allows you to ask a lawyer a question for Free. Also provides a legal directory.