Legal Aid: Free And Low-Cost Help When You Need It

Written by Laura Sands and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

Free and low-cost legal aid is available to people nationwide who meet specific income requirements. Help can be sought for legal issues involving immigration, domestic violence, divorce, child custody, criminal matters, civil suits, class-action lawsuits, and more. Lawyers, paralegals, law students, and other professionals work with communities across the nation to ensure that everyone has equal access to quality legal advice, assistance, and representation regardless of one’s ability to pay.

 

Legal Aid When You Need It and When You Don’t

Free and low-cost legal aid exists throughout the nation and is available anytime you need it. Even when you don’t, however, it is a good idea to know what services are available in your area just in case. When you find yourself or a loved one in a legal bind, searching for legal help can feel overwhelming and potentially add to the stress of the moment. To avoid this, consider familiarizing yourself with the legal aid services and pro bono attorneys currently available in your state. Don’t forget to bookmark this guide, and be sure to share it with your friends and family members.

 

By state:

Alabama

Alabama Legal Answers

Legal Services Alabama  

 

Alaska

Alaska LSC  

 

Arizona

Free Legal Answers

The Florence Project

 

Arkansas

Legal Aid of Arkansas

 

California

The Judicial Branch of California

Legal Aid Association of California

 

Colorado

The Legal Aid Foundation of Colorado

Colorado Bar Association For the Public

 

Connecticut

Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut

Connecticut Legal Services

New Haven Legal Assistance Association, Inc.

Greater Hartford Legal Aid

 

Delaware

Delaware Volunteer Legal Services

The Office of Defense Services

 

District of Columbia

Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia

The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

 

Florida

Florida Law Help

Three Rivers Legal Svcs

Florida Courts Legal Aid

 

Georgia

Georgia Legal Services Program

Atlanta Legal Aid Society

 

Hawaii

Volunteer Legal Services Hawaii

Domestic Violence Action Center – Legal Representation

Ala Kuola – Temporary Restraining Order Filing

 

Idaho

Idaho Legal Aid Services, Inc.

Idaho Law Foundation

 

Illinois

Illinois Legal Aid Online

LAF Chicago

Cabrini Green Legal Aid

 

Indiana

Indiana Free Legal Answers

Indiana Legal Svc., Inc.

Legal Aid Corporation of Tippecanoe County

 

Iowa

The Iowa State Bar Association – Legal Assistance

Iowa Legal Aid

Scott County Pro Bono Program

 

Kansas

State Board of Indigents’ Defense Services

University of Kansas Legal Aid Clinic

Kansas Legal Services

Kansas Judicial Branch

 

Kentucky

Kentucky Bar Association – Legal Aid Programs

Kentucky Legal Aid

Kentucky Equal Justice Center

Maxwell Street Legal Clinic (Brochure of services PDF)

Access to Justice Foundation

 

Louisiana

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services

Louisiana Civil Justice Center

Legal Services of North Louisiana, Inc.

Acadiana LSC

Louisiana Legal Assistance and Free Advice

 

Maine

University of Maine School of Law Cumberland Legal Aid Clinic

Legal Services for the Elderly

Pine Tree Legal Assistance

Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project

Kids Legal

 

Maryland

Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service

Homeless Persons Representation Project, Inc.

Maryland Legal Aid

Women’s Law Center of Maryland

Maryland LSC

 

Massachusetts

South Coastal Counties Legal Services, Inc.

Mass Legal Help

Greater Boston Legal Services

Community Legal Services and Counseling Center

Mass Legal Services

Centro Presente Legal Immigration Services

 

Michigan

Legal Services of Northern Michigan

Legal Services of Eastern Michigan

Legal Services of South Central Michigan

Legal Aid of Western Michigan

Michigan Legal Help

Legal Aid and Defender Association Incorporated

Legal Assistance Center

Migrant Legal Aid

 

Minnesota

Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services

Legal Aid Service of Northern Minnesota

 

Mississippi

Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project

North Mississippi Rural Legal Services

 

Missouri

Missouri Legal Services

Legal Aid of Western Missouri

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

 

Montana

Free Legal Aid Montana

Montana Legal Services Association

Montana Legal Justice

 

Nebraska

Volunteer Lawyers Project

Legal Aid of Nebraska

 

Nevada

Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans

Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada

Washoe Legal Services

 

New Hampshire

Access to Justice New Hampshire

New Hampshire Legal Aid

New Hampshire Legal Assistance

 

New Jersey

Legal Services of New Jersey

Northeast New Jersey Legal Services

Volunteer Lawyers for Justice

Essex County Legal Aid

 

New Mexico

New Mexico Legal Aid

DNA People’s Legal Services

 

New York

Neighborhood Legal Services

Bronx Legal Services

 

North Carolina

Legal Aid of North Carolina

NC Free Legal Help

 

North Dakota

Dakota Plains Legal Services

Legal Services of North Dakota

 

Ohio

Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc.

Southeastern Ohio Legal Services

 

Oklahoma

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma

Oklahoma Bar Association Low Cost or No Cost Legal Assistance

 

Oregon

Legal Aid Services of Oregon

Lane County Legal Aid and Advocacy Center

 

Pennsylvania

Homeless Advocacy Project

North Western Legal Services

Neighborhood Legal Services Association

MidPenn Legal Services

North Penn Legal Services

Legal Aid of Southeastern PA

 

Rhode Island

Rhode Island Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Program

Rhode Island Legal Services

 

South Carolina

South Carolina Legal Services

South Carolina Bar Pro Bono Resources

South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense

 

South Dakota

Dakota Plains Legal Services

 

Tennessee

Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services

West Tennessee Legal Services

Legal Aid of Western Tennessee

Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc.

 

Texas

Texas Legal Services Center

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas

Legal Services of South Piedmont

Lone Star Legal Aid

Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid

 

Utah

And Justice for All

Utah Legal Services

 

Vermont

Harvard Legal Aid Bureau

Vermont Legal Aid

 

Virginia

Legal Aid Justice Center

Rappahannock Legal Services, Inc.

Legal Services of Northern Virginia

 

Washington

Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association Volunteer Legal Services

Eastside Legal Assistance Program

King County Bar Association Free Legal Assistance

Northwest Justice Project

Office of Civil Legal Aid

 

West Virginia

Legal Aid of West Virginia

West Law Firm Injury Attorneys

 

Wisconsin

Wisconsin State Law Library Legal Assistance

Center Against Sexual and Domestic Abuse, Inc.

Legal Action of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Judicare Incorporated

 

Wyoming

Equal Justice Wyoming

Legal Aid of Wyoming

 

Additional National Resources for Legal Aid

Domestic Violence Assistance

Partners who are being physically, sexually, mentally, or emotionally abused should seek help right away. National and state agencies are ready to offer low-cost or free legal assistance for things like restraining orders, divorce, and child custody matters. The Women’s Law website is a good place to begin a search for legal help with domestic violence and family law matters.

Other domestic violence resources include:

The National Domestic Violence Pro Bono Directory

National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence

 

Criminal and Civil Matters

Many of the listings shared above will assist individuals with criminal and civil matters. For more state-specific resources, a full directory of free and low-cost legal assistance can be obtained from most local courthouses and county law libraries. Telephone directories, community-based organizations, and welfare offices may also help low-income clients locate legal assistance for criminal and civil matters.

Other nationwide resources for criminal and civil assistance include:

LawHelp.org

Lawyers and Legal Advice | USA.gov

Civil Legal Aid 101

 

Pro Bono Resources

Many attorneys in private practice will also provide pro bono (free) services in addition to serving higher-income clients with an ability to pay their regular fee. For individuals who do not quite meet the income eligibility requirements for legal aid programs, a pro bono attorney may still provide you with free or affordable service options. The American Bar Association provides an online directory of pro bono legal assistance, as well as additional listings on where low-income clients can find free legal help and other useful resources. If you are ever turned down for legal aid, turn to your local state bar association to search for a pro bono attorney in your area. Your local state bar association may also be able to refer you to a local self-help clinic or other low-cost legal resources currently available in your state.

 

Further Reading

In addition to the resources named above, here are a few articles appearing on this site, which may offer more information on legal aid and how to access it:

Three Sources of Free Legal Aid Available To You

Three Ways to Get Free Legal Advice

The Best Way to Find a Pro Bono Divorce Lawyer

More On This Topic



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