Information on free legal assistance programs in Michigan.
There are several non-profit law firms in Michigan that provide free legal aid to low to moderate income citizens, seniors, and the disabled. The organizations as well as pro-bono firms provide a multitude of free, charitable legal services to eligible clients. Hundreds of lawyers and support personnel work at these firms, and the majority of funding for these assistance programs comes from the federal government. Find more information below on the programs they offer, as well as contact information.
The free lawyers, their staff, and paralegals offer help with civil cases - not criminal. The programs that are currently in place from non-profits or pro-bono law firms offer clients a wide range of free legal representation and services, both in person or over the phone. Their primary goal is to address the concerns as well as legal needs of residents throughout the state of Michigan.
Types of free legal advice
The type of requests and exact programs offered may vary slightly from firm to firm. A major focus is on ensuring the disadvantaged in Michigan get the legal aid they need, including a focus on minorities, the low income and working poor. The services may also change based on funding levels as well as available resources. In some situations, a potential client may only require some general information or basic advice from a lawyer. In other cases, a legal problem may require extensive consultation and research, representation, or the client may need an attorney to help them with formal in-court counsel.
The Michigan organizations listed below offer various forms of free legal aid as well as advice, including telephone consultations as well as in person advice if/when needed. Lawyers/ attorneys can prepare documents, answer questions for free, negotiate settlements, and provide court representation, all at no cost to the low-income client.
Housing matters: Thousands of families across Michigan are facing extensive housing concerns, including evictions, many are facing home foreclosures, and others are struggling with paying their mortgage. Lawyers can provide free advice on housing matters, including foreclosure advice. They can assist with mortgage foreclosures, help prevent evictions, deal with landlord and tenant disputes, repair issues for tenants, assistance with property tax foreclosures, and lockouts. Additional support may be offered for illegal or questionable utility termination and disconnections, public housing programs including admission policies, rent levels and evictions.
Family law and domestic issues: Receive legal help and free consultation from lawyers from pro-bono firms on civil family law cases, which can include PPO cases, divorce cases, custody cases, support cases, and especially cases to prevent violence against a child or a spouse. They can also help where there is a change in custody sought from a parent who already has custody of the child.
Government benefit programs: If you need assistance in navigating federal or state of Michigan government benefit programs, attorneys on staff can provide advice. Some of the programs include Medicaid, Medicare, unemployment compensation, and social security foodstamps and other government food programs, SSI, health care programs, Social Security and more. Occasionally people may be unfairly denied a certain benefit, and an attorney or paralegal can advise you on steps to take if/when that were to occur.
Senior citizens: Numerous programs and services are offered to help seniors in Michigan. Lawyers can provide free wills, guardianships, power of attorney, nursing home issues, and other advice. Usually the client will need to meet approved income guidelines.
Consumer legal advice: Receive help in dealing with unlawful debt collection practices and calls, contracts, debts and repossessions, or unfair or deceptive lending or sales practices. Many companies try to scam or take advantage of consumers in Michigan, and legal aid can help with these matters. Other assistance is available for consumer finance and installment agreement problems, bankruptcies, and predatory lending.
Who to contact for free legal aid in Michigan
Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc - They cover Macomb, Oakland and Wayne County, Michigan, including the City of Detroit. Call them at 877.964.4700. Several services are provided by volunteers and other attorneys to qualified low income families. Continue with free legal aid in Detroit.
Legal Aid of Western Michigan - This law firms helps people in the 17 counties in the lower western part of Michigan. They have law offices in Grand Rapids, Big Rapids, Holland, Muskegon, Niles, St. Joseph and Kalamazoo. Kent, Ionia and Montcalm county residents can dial 616-774-0672 while residents of the other 14 counties should call 1-888-783-8190 for information.
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan - They provide free legal advice to people in the eastern part of the state, including Flint, Saginaw, Midland, and Port Huron. 1-800-322-4512.
Legal Services of Northern Michigan - Provides free legal services as well as consultations for northern parts of Michigan, including Marquette and Traverse City. Phone number is (906) 228-5620.
Michigan Indian Legal Services - This group provides civil legal services to low income Indian individuals and tribes. (877) 968-6877.
Legal Services of South Central Michigan - This non-profit law firm, which can be reached at (734) 665-6181 provides free legal services and assistance to low and moderate income and senior citizens of Barry, Branch, Calhoun, Clinton, Eaton, Hillsdale, Ingham, Jackson, Lenawee, Livingston, Monroe, Shiawassee, and Washtenaw counties Michigan.