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Legal Aid and Legal System

Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to people who have low income and face fundamental problems related to family, health, housing, money and work. We maximize our limited resources by providing a variety of levels of service to eligible clients, including legal advice, hep with forms and legal documents, as well as full legal representation. Unfortunately, we still cannot help everyone in need of legal assistance and too many people have to navigate the system on their own.

In most cases related to civil problems involving family, health, housing, money, work and others, people do not have a right to an attorney. The familiar words – “You have a right to an attorney and if you cannot afford an attorney one will be appointed for you” – only apply in criminal cases when a person could go to jail, or in some other limited situations where a “fundamental right” is at stake, such as termination of parental rights. As a result, many people have to go to court and solve legal problems on their own.

The following resources provide helpful information about accessing Legal Aid services, about navigating the system without help from a lawyer, and about other helpful resources.

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