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.
District of Columbia
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:
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:
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.
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: