Applying for Help - Steps to Follow:
Take some time and think about what has already happened in your case. Also, think about what your ideal outcome at the end of the case is.
Gather any evidence and/or documents you think might help you prove your case, and what you say happened. Contact anyone who might be able to be a witness in your case, just in case they might be needed by the lawyer and/or later in the case.
Using the results of the first two steps, sit down and write out everything that has happened in your case. This is called a Fact Statement. Start from the very beginning of your case. Make sure to include dates and references to any evidence you might have to help prove your side of the story. Also, write down what your ideal outcome of the case is. This is called a Goal Statement.
Search through our Legal Help Finder and find a legal aid organization that handles your type of case. Contact them over the phone or the internet. More details on how to contact each legal aid organization will be in the Legal Help Finder.
Please note, it may take a while to get through to legal aid. If you are not able to get through, please keep calling or look on their website to see if they offer an in-person intake clinic, which may be faster. Also, make sure to let the organization know if your case is an emergency. (Generally, meaning you have an upcoming deadline or court date within the next week or two weeks).
Due to high demand and limited funding it may take legal aid a while to get back to you. This can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks depending on the organization. The organization has not forgotten about your case, but is trying to respond to a high call volume. You can call back if an urgent deadline comes up in your case to inform the organization. Once the organization has made a determination of what services they are able to provide they will call you back.
Agree to Representation, Get advice, or other another service
Different legal aid organizations provide different levels of service. If the organization is offering to provide you with free legal representation you will likely need to sign a representation agreement. You should consider your options and sign the representation agreement if you would like the organization to take your case. Even if the organization is not able to take your case, they will likely provide another type of service or a referral to another organization that may be able to help you.