Frequently Asked Questions

 


What kinds of cases does Legal Aid handle?

We provide services exclusively in civil (non-criminal) matters. Because we do not have the resources to handle every eligible client’s case, our staff must choose those cases in which our representation will have a significant impact on the client.

Our main practice areas are:

In addition to individual casework, we manage Special Projects designed to concentrate services in areas of particular need in our client community.

If you are not sure, go ahead and apply for help.

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What kinds of cases does Legal Aid NOT handle?

  • Personal injury lawsuits
  • Workers’ Compensation cases
  • Criminal cases, including traffic violations
  • Class actions
  • Actions on behalf of those in prison or jail

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What are the requirements to get help from Legal Aid?

You must meet our income requirements, have a legal problem that falls within our priority areas, and reside in our service area If you do not qualify for our services, we will tell you right away.

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How do I get help with my legal problem?

You should call the phone number listed for the office that 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. It is extremely helpful if you have the papers concerning your legal problem available when you call.

We respect your privacy. Legal Aid will not tell anyone else anything about you unless you want us to.

If you do qualify for Legal Aid help:

  • We will advise you about how to solve your problem yourself. We may also give you some written information about your legal rights.
  • We may ask you to send us more information about your case. We will review it before we meet with you again to give you more advice.
  • We may need to do some legal research and discuss your legal issues before we can advise you. We will meet with you again later.
  • We may represent you in court proceedings or at a hearing

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When I call Legal Aid, the phone line is busy – how can I get help?

Legal Aid’s phone lines can get overloaded at certain times of the day – and it can be difficult to get through on the phone. Your call is important, so you are encouraged to keep trying. Don’t wait until the last minute to call about an emergency.

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Can Legal Aid take every case?

No. Most of the callers will receive legal advice, but because of limited staff and resources we are not able to provide representation to everyone who needs us. Many applicants are referred to another agency if their legal problem does not fall within our priorities.

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How do you 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. However, with thousands of applications each year we must unfortunately make very difficult decisions to devote our limited resources to those most in need.

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How much is this going to cost?

There is no charge for our legal services. However, you may be asked to pay other costs associated with your case 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. Please apply even if you think you can’t afford it.

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Do you have interpreters for non-English speaking applicants or help with other special needs?

We always try to accommodate applicants with Limited English Proficiency and other special needs. Please let our receptionist know if you require a translator or other special services.

Si necesita un intérprete, pídale a nuestra recepcionista.

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How do I get to your office?

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What if Legal Aid can’t take my case?

If we are unable to take your case, we may be able to refer you to other agencies or resources that can provide legal assistance. You can also check the Links section on our website to find information specific to your legal problem.

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