1. WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR LEGAL SERVICES?
Applicants must qualify for our services under financial guidelines. These guidelines are based on household size, income and assets. Most families who receive government benefits or who have minimum wage jobs are eligible for our services.
2. WHAT KIND OF CASES DOES LEGAL AID HANDLE?
Legal Aid considers cases in most areas of civil law. The most common are:
3. HOW DO I GET HELP WITH MY LEGAL PROBLEM?
You should call the toll free number listed for the office which serves your county. The person who answers the phone will explain the process for getting help. You should be prepared to answer questions about your household income and the nature of your legal problem. In some cases you may speak with an attorney right away. However, in other cases you may have to wait a week or two for an in person appointment so you should call as soon as you think you may have a legal problem.
4. HOW DO WE DECIDE TO ACCEPT A CASE?
Our offices do not have the resources to represent everyone who needs our services. Because of this, we have to make decisions on which cases take priority. Each case will be given individual attention with the facts and circumstances being carefully considered. We believe every case is important to those needing our assistance and we will provide some measure of service to all applicants including advise, brief service and referrals to our volunteer attorney projects or other appropriate free or low cost resources. However, with 30,000 applications each year we must unfortunately make very difficult decisions to devote our limited resources to those most in need.
5. DOES LEGAL AID REPRESENT GROUPS?
Our offices are interested in representing groups and organizations because this allows us to serve a greater number of people more effectively. A group or organization is eligible for our services if it is comprised primarily of eligible individuals, if it serves the interest of eligible client and does not have the resources to employ private counsel.
6. CAN LEGAL AID REFER ME TO A PRIVATE ATTORNEY?
Yes, we have hundreds of volunteer attorneys throughout our service area that are willing to assist eligible applicants. Those who are not financially eligibility are referred to the State Bar Lawyer referral service 800-252-9690.
7. HOW MUCH IS THIS GOING TO COST ME?
There is no charge for the legal services rendered. However, you may be asked to pay other costs associated with litigation such as filing fees, deposition fees, transcript fees, or other court costs. Legal Aid does have resources to assist with these associated costs of litigation. So do not fail to apply simply because you fear the cost is prohibitive.
8. WHAT DO I DO IF LANWT CANNOT ASSIST ME?
If you are over-income, you may call the Lawyer Referral Service at 800-252-9690. There you will be directed to a local attorney who handles the type of problem you have. For a very small fee you will receive a thirty minute consultation from that attorney about your legal issue.