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.
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:
If you or your child are being physically abused a legal aid can assist you with getting a protective order
If you are married and have children, a legal aid can help you with custody, divorce and child support services
Legal aids can also assist if you are being evicted or in foreclosure
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.
There are numerous private organizations that do offer free legal advice, aid, legal services, even free lawyers. Here’s a list.
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.
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.
122 East 42nd St
New York, NY 10016
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
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
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
Case Types: Bankruptcy,Consumer, Adoption, Child Custody, Elder Law, Domestic Violence, Termination of parental rights and Real Estate.
301 E Madison Ave
Harlingen, TX 78550
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
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
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
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
Case Types: Bankruptcy, Child Custody, Dissolution of Marriage, Wills.
Chicago Volunteer Legal Services Foundation
100 N La Salle St Ste 900
Chicago, IL 60602
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
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
Case Types: Bankruptcy
Case Restrictions: CBAP only accepts clients with consumer debt problems and provides representation in CH. 7 bankruptcies.
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.
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
Bronx, NY 10451
Tuesdays and Thursdays: 9:00am – 4:30pm
Housing Court & Civil Court Help Center
141 Livingston Street, Room 404
Brooklyn, NY 11201
900 Third Street
San Fernando, CA 91340
Note: There are numerous locations, call ahead to confirm.
Flora Public Library
216 N. Main St
Flora, IL 62839
504 E. Main Street in Bellville
To confirm dates, times, and locations, please call (979) 826-8484
2600 Southampton Road
Philadelphia. PA . 19116
Arizona Supreme Court
1501 W. Washington
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Indiana Supreme Court
Division of State Court Administration
30 S. Meridian St., Suite 500
Indianapolis, IN 46204
10 West Broad Street, Suite 950
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3483
109 8th St.
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
401 Second Avenue S, Suite 407
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 464-1519 or 1-888-201-1012
Client Intake – call 211
224 S. Dawson Street
Raleigh, NC 27601
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.
- Albany Law School
- American University: Washington College of Law
- Appalachian School of Law: Appalachian School of Law
- Arizona State University Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
- Baylor University: Baylor University Law School
- Boston College: Boston College Law School
- Brigham Young University: J. Reuben Clark Law School
- Brooklyn Law School: Brooklyn Law School
- California Western: California Western School of Law
- Catholic University of America: Columbus School of Law
- Chapman University: Dale E. Fowler School of Law
- Charleston School of Law
- Cornell: Cornell Law School
- Creighton University: School of Law
- DePaul University: College of Law
- Duke University: Duke University School of Law
- Duquesne University: School of Law
- Elon University School of Law
- Florida State University: Florida State University College of Law
- Fordham University: Fordham University School of Law
- George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School
- George Washington University: George Washington University Law School
- Hofstra University: Hofstra University School of Law
- Howard University: Howard University School of Law
- Illinois Institute of Technology: Chicago-Kent College of Law
- Indiana University: Maurer School of Law (Bloomington)
- Indiana University: Indiana University School of Law, Indianapolis
- Louisiana State University: Paul M. Hebert Law center
- Loyola Law School: Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- Michigan State University: College of Law
- Mississippi College: Mississippi College School of Law
- New England School of Law: New England School of Law
- New York Law School: New York Law School
- New York University: New York University School of Law
- Oklahoma City University: Oklahoma City University School of Law
- Pace University: School of Law
- Pennsylvania State University: The Dickinson School of Law
- Pepperdine University: Odell McConnell Law center
- Rutgers: The State University of New Jersey School of Law, Camden
- Saint Louis University: Saint Louis University School of Law
- Samford University: Cumberland School of Law
- Santa Clara University: Santa Clara University School of Law
- Texas Southern University: Thurgood Marshall School of Law
- Texas Tech University: Texas Tech University School of Law
- Thomas Jefferson School of Law: Thomas Jefferson School of Law
- Thomas M. Cooley Law School
- Touro College: Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law center
- University of Cincinnati: University of Cincinnati College of Law
- University of Colorado: School of Law
- University of Connecticut: University of Connecticut School of Law
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 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.
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.
LawHelp provides information for low-income individuals to find free legal aid programs in their communities.
Avvo allows you to ask a lawyer a question for Free. Also provides a legal directory.