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Legal Aid Services

There are legal aid organizations across the state of Florida that help people who need a lawyer but cannot afford one. They give free or low cost legal help for civil (not criminal) issues like divorce, child custody, housing, benefits, and more.

Who can apply

Anyone can apply, but each legal aid organization has requirements that you must meet to get help. They all usually have a maximum income guideline. For this guideline, legal aid organizations do not look just at income. They look at many factors like assets, debts, and the number of people living in a household. Some legal aid orgnizations only help specific groups of people like seniors, children, people with HIV, or people going through domestic violence. Each legal aid organization is different. You can learn about their requirements and how to apply on this site when you find an organization or on their website.

Cost

Help from a legal aid organization is often free. However, some legal aid organizations have a small or reduced fee for their services.

Find an organization

On this site you can browse a list of all the Florida legal aid organizations. To find an organization in your local area, enter your city or county into the search bar. You can also narrow the list of organizations by checking a topic on the left. 

Find a legal aid organization

Apply online in Miami, Bay Area, or Three Rivers

If you are looking for legal aid help in greater Miami, Bay Area, or Three Rivers, you can apply online.

Apply for help online

 

Lawyer Referral

If you do not qualify for free help from a legal aid organization, you can have a 30 minute meeting with a lawyer for $25 or less through the Florida Bar Referral Service. 

Who can apply

Anyone who needs legal help can ask for a lawyer referral. There are no requirements. 

Cost

The cost for one 30 minute meeting is $25 for most people. There are special situations where you may qualify for a free meeting. That will be decided after you fill out the Referral Request form.

After the first 30 minute meeting between you and the lawyer, it is up to you to decide if you want the lawyer to keep working on your legal issue. The lawyer will tell you how much it will cost for them to keep helping you.

Make a referral request

To ask for a lawyer referral through this service, fill out the short online form. Or call (800) 342-8011. Lawyer Referral Service staff will give you the name, address and telephone number of an attorney in near you who handles the type of case you describe. 

Request a lawyer referral 
 

Legal Answers

If you have a quick legal question or maybe don't know if you need a lawyer, you can email a question and get an answer from a lawyer. 

Who can apply

You have to meet some qualifications to use the Free Legal Answers website. You must be an adult with a legal question not related to a criminal charge. The site will ask you questions about your income, savings and whether you already have a lawyer to help with your legal problem. If you qualify, you can then email a question and receive an answer from a lawyer. 

Cost

Free. There is no cost to ask a question and get an answer from a lawyer.

Email a question

To use the Legal Answers service, answer a few questions online to see if you qualify. If you do, then you can create an account and submit your legal question. A lawyer will email you an answer.  

Get a legal answer

 

Clinics

A legal clinic or workshop allows you to talk with an attorney for legal advice or assistance filling out forms. 

Who can apply

Every clinic is different in the type of help they offer. They also have different requirements to get help. Some provide general legal help to anyone that comes in. Others only help with certain legal problems like divorce or housing. You can learn about each clinic and their requirements when you find a clinic on this site.

Cost

Most clinics are free.  

Find a clinic

On this site you can browse a list of all the upcoming legal clinics. You can learn what kind of help you can get at the clinic, what days and times it is open, and where it is located.

Find a clinic

 

Common Questions

Q - What kind of help can lawyers generally provide?

A - Lawyers help by giving you advice, drafting legal documents, going to court, negotiating on your behalf, and speaking with the opposing lawyer or person in a case.

 

Q - What does Pro Bono mean?

A - Pro bono means that a lawyer is representing a person for free. The person getting legal help does not have to pay for the lawyer’s time, but they might have to pay other small fees, such as the cost to file a document with the court.

 

Q - What is Pro Se or self-representation?

A - Pro se or self-representation means that a person is going to court or dealing with a legal matter on their own without the help of a lawyer.

 

Q - What is the difference between a legal services/legal aid program and the public defender program?

A - A legal aid or legal services organization provides legal services for people in civil legal matters.  The Public Defender’s office provides defense counsel in criminal matters.

 

Q - How do I find out more about legal aid organizations?

A - There is information about each legal aid organization on this website. You can also find out more by visiting the legal aid organization's wesbite, or by calling or writing the organization and asking for information. Find a legal aid organization on this website.

 

Q - When should I get advice or help from a lawyer?

A -  You should contact a lawyer immediatey any time you have been served with a summons, complaint, or court order. If you have questions about your legal rights or status, only a lawyer can provide legal advice. Getting help from a lawyer may be necessary to protect or enforce your legal rights.

 

 

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