You may qualify for free legal assistance in civil cases, depending on your income and the type of legal problem you have. The types of cases handled by legal services lawyers include: domestic relations, housing, access to government benefits, and employment discrimination. You can find free legal assistance in the government pages of your phone book.
Legal Aid Societies and Agencies
Legal aid societies are staffed by lawyers, paralegals, and other professionals who are trained in poverty law issues and are prepared to help people with various legal issues that, for example, may center around domestic violence, housing issues, consumer matters, or maintenance of benefits questions.
Because each state handles legal aid differently, your best bet is to use the Internet and do a search for your state’s legal aid. You will be directed to your state’s legal aid society or Bar Association- both provide free legal advice and other services in non-criminal cases to low income people. You can also look in the telephone book under “Legal Aid.” The drawback is that the demand generally far outweighs the resources so you may wait for a long time. Also, many law schools have free legal clinics, so check schools near you.
Legal Services Corporation (LSC)
LSC is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1974, and funded 100% by Congress. Its mission is to promote equal access to the courts by making grants to provide high-quality civil legal assistance for those who could not otherwise afford legal counsel. Applicant’s income should not exceed 125% of the poverty guidelines by family size determined by the Department of Health and Human Services. To find an LSC office near you, click here.
Legal Help for Persons with Disabilities
The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) is a national law and policy center dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities through legislation, litigation, advocacy, technical assistance, and education and training of attorneys, advocates, persons with disabilities, and parents of children with disabilities.