Legal Assistance

Free Legal Help

For those that don’t feel comfortable representing themselves, but don’t have the money to pay for a lawyer, check out Lawhelp.org, which helps people with low and moderate incomes find free legal aid programs in their communities, answers to questions about their legal rights and forms to help them with their legal problems. However, keep in mind the demand for these services is greater than the supply.


 


The St. Louis Public Library provides access to Gale Courses. Gale Courses offers a wide range of highly interactive, FREE courses that you can take entirely online. The categories available under the law and legal category include Business and Corporate, Criminal Law, General Law, LSAT Preparation and Paralegal. Six-week long courses are taught by college instructors and experts in the field, ensuring a high-quality, high-impact educational experience for all ages.

The website FreeAdvice.com allows you to ask general legal questions that attorneys will answer at no cost or obligation. The site includes a forum where consumers can pose questions and receive answers and suggestions from other consumers, experts and attorneys.

Avvo.com lets you post free questions which will be answered within 12 hours or you can pay $39 to actually speak with an attorney to get legal advice. If you’re not satisfied with the advice, you can request a full refund. Avvo maintains a lawyer directory with ratings.

LawGuru.com allows you to ask free general questions and also has a fee-based service. You can search the LawGuru database of past questions and answers; look up past questions and answers by state, area of law and keywords.

Martindale-Hubble’s site Lawyers.com maintains attorney ratings from both clients and other legal professionals. You can find an attorney specializing in consumer rights at the National Association of Consumer Advocates or consult the American Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Directory.

Veterans Legal Assistance

Stateside Legal – website for members of the military, veterans, and their families; includes interactive forms, videos, and legal analysis.

Every U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs VA Medical Center in the country now has a Veterans Justice Outreach Specialist (VJO) whose job is to liaison with veterans involved with the local criminal justice system. You can locate your local VJO here. Veteran's Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255 press 1.

General Assistance

Need help paying bills? A variety of St. Louis social programs to help with housing, energy assistance, education, crisis management and more. Listing for help in other areas of Missouri and other states is also available.

Often people in need of legal service also need other assistance. The 2016 START HERE ST. LOUIS AREA RESOURCE DIRECTORY (a 52-page PDF booklet) and website provide general information, street addresses, phone numbers and websites for the dozens of agencies, shelters, employment resources, food pantries and other help organizations throughout the St. Louis area.

MISSOURI LEGAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

There are a variety of programs in Missouri that provide free legal assistance. Some are funded by state and federal funds such as the four Legal Services Corporation programs, some are affiliated with social service agencies, some are affiliated with circuit courts, some are limited in scope such as disaster response, some are affiliated with law schools, and some are affiliated with a single church or local agency usually involving one volunteer attorney.
 
Presently, all of the existing agencies together are able to serve less than 30 percent of the need. This leaves tens of thousands of families with legal problems who are unassisted. So even when you contact these organization, it's still a good idea to start researching so you'll be better prepared to help yourself; even if you get legal assistance, it will help to know more about the issues and process. Good luck.

St. Louis

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Inc., defends civil liberties and the principles of equality and justice in Missouri through its litigation, legislative and public education programs. The ACLU assists thousands of people each year in asserting their rights. They work in the courts through litigation, in communities through public education and advocacy, and through our legislative work at the local and state levels. If you believe your civil liberties have been violated, go to their Complaints page.

454 Whittier Street
St. Louis, Missouri 63108
Intake Line: (314) 652-3111
Administrative Lines: (314) 652-3114
General E-mail: webmaster@aclu-mo.org
Website: aclu-mo.org

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ArchCity Defenders strives to prevent and end homelessness among the indigent and working poor in the St. Louis Region by providing holistic criminal and civil legal services.
Contact information:
Downtown:
812 Collins St.
Laclede’s Landing
Saint Louis, MO 63102-2112
Clayton:
7751 Carondelet Ave., Ste. 201
Clayton, MO 63105-3340
Phone: 855-724-2489
Fax: 314-621-8071
Website: archcitydefenders.org
Email: mail@archcitydefenders.org

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The Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry (CLAM) is affiliated with Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Director is Marie Kenyon. Geographic service area: counties in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. Areas of law in which assistance is offered: CLAM helps victims of domestic violence and domestic law matters, paternity, orders of protection, guardianship, and abuse. CLAM also offers services for immigrant populations.  Income Eligibility Criteria: The program primarily is for persons whose household income is at or below 150% of federal poverty level.

Contact information:

Contact:
100 N. Tucker Blvd.
Suite 726
St. Louis, MO 63101
(No Walk-Ins)
(314) 977-3993
e-mail: kenyonm@slu.edu
website: www.ccstl.org/federation/catholic-charities-community-services/catholic-legal-assistance-ministry

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Gateway Legal Services focuses primarily on SSI and social security disability cases. They also assist with veteran's benefits. For handling applications and appeals for benefits they receive a reduced contingent fee; however, there is no fee for handling cases terminating benefits or collecting overpayment of benefits. Paid staff handles such cases pro bono but Gateway would welcome the assistance of volunteer attorneys to help with such cases. Geographic service area: statewide. Areas of law in which assistance is offered: social security, SSI and veteran's benefits. Income Eligibility Criteria: The program is primarily for persons whose household income is at or below 200% of federal poverty but exceptions can be made. Counties Served: City of St. Louis; Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis, Warren, and Washington counties Services offered: Legal representation, Court advocacy, Domestic violence crisis intervention, Professional and community education, Outreach offices in police stations and courthouses

Contact information:
200 N. Broadway,
Suite 950,
St. Louis, MO 63102
phone: (314) 534-0404
facsimile: (314) 652-8308
e-mail: mferry@gatewaylegal.org
website: www.gatewaylegal.org

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Interfaith Legal Services for Immigrants is a non-profit organization that provides affordable immigration legal services to low-income immigrants and their families.

Interfaith Legal Services for Immigrants
4158 Lindell Blvd.
Saint Louis, MO 63108
Phone: (314) 371-4640
Fax: (314) 371-4766
email: info@ilsilegal.org
website: http://www.ilsilegal.org

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Legal Advocates for Abused Women (LAAW)
1027 S. Vandeventer, 6th Floor
St. Louis, MO 63110
Hotline: 800-527-1460; 314-535-5229
Phone: 314-535-0684
Fax: 314-535-0696
Web: http://www.laawstl.org

thin separator lineLegal Services of Eastern Missouri – Lawyers from this organization provide free legal assistance to the low-income and others in 21 counties of eastern Missouri, including Adair, Macon, Scotland, Clark, Marion, Shelby, Franklin, Monroe, St. Charles, Jefferson, Montgomery, St. Louis, Know, Pike, Lewis, Ralls, Warren, Lincoln, Washington, and Schuyler. Their main offices are in Hannibal and St. Louis.
Areas of law in which legal assistance is offered: Priority areas include consumer, community and economic development, disability, education, elderly, family, health, housing, immigration, income maintenance, public benefits, limited avoid probate matters (to homelessness or impoverishment, limited tax matters (when home or employment is affected)

Income Eligibility Criteria: 125% of federal poverty levels (ex., gross annual income for a family of four = $27,563)

Contact information:
4232 Forest Park Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63108
phone: (314) 534-4200, (800) 444-0514
facsimile: (314) 534-1425
e-mail: info@lsem.org
website: www.lsem.org

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Missouri State Public Defender
St. Louis City (314) 340-7625
Clayton (314) 615-4778
St. Charles (636) 949-7300

The Missouri State Public Defender System provides advocacy for indigent people who are accused of crimes in Missouri.  At the conclusion of cases handled by the public defender's office, they request a fee judgment against the defendant. Your income tax refunds and lottery winnings can be intercepted by the State of Missouri to pay for public defender fees.

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Charleston

Legal Services of Southern Missouri
116 N. Main Street
Charleston, MO 63834
Phone: (573) 683-3786
Phone: (800) 748-7456

Website: www.lsosm.org

Counties Served: Barry, Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Cedar, Christian, Crawford, Dade, Dallas, Dent, Douglas, Dunklin, Gasconade, Greene, Howell, Iron, Laclede, Lawrence, Madison, Maries, Mississippi, New Madrid, Oregon, Ozark, Pemiscot, Perry, Phelps, Polk, Pulaski, Reynolds, Ripley, St. Francois, St. Genevieve, Scott, Shannon, Stoddard, Stone, Taney, Texas, Wayne, Webster and Wright

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Columbia

Family Violence Program, University of Missouri School of Law
104 Hulston Hall
Columbia, MO 65203
Phone: 573-882-9728
Fax Number: (573) 884-4368
Email: BeckM@missouri.edu

This Family Violence Clinic is only active during the academic year. The income cut-off is 150% of the federal poverty level. The clinic accepts Domestic Violence/Protective Order cases and some guardianships and accepts referrals from all over the state. The clinic has grant funds to travel to distant Missouri counties. Spanish language resources available. Contact Monique Prince or Mary Beck at the number listed above.

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Mid-Missouri Legal Services – If you can’t afford to pay for an attorney, lawyers from this firm provide free support, counsel, and legal advice to the middle part of the state. They offer several different programs and services, and an attorney can be contacted at (417) 881-1397

1201 West Broadway
Columbia, MO 65203
Local: (573) 442-0116
Toll-Free: (800) 568-4931
Fax: (573) 875-0173
Web: www.callawayunitedway.com/MidMoLegalSpotlight.htm and http://mmls.org

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Hannibal

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Main Office – Hannibal Office
801 Broadway
P.O. Box 1276
Hannibal, MO 63401
Phone: (573) 248-1111
Phone: (800) 767-2018
Web: http://www.lsem.org

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Jefferson City

Mid-Missouri Legal Services – If you can’t afford to pay for an attorney, lawyers from this firm provide free support, counsel, and legal advice to the middle part of the state. They offer several different programs and services, and an attorney can be contacted at (417) 881-1397.

428 East Capitol Avenue, Suite 200
Jefferson City, MO 65101
Local: (573) 634-4545
Toll-Free: (888) 476-4545
Fax: (573) 634-2973
Web: www.callawayunitedway.com/MidMoLegalSpotlight.htm and http://mmls.org

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The Missouri Trial Lawyers Association (MATA) has developed a program in collaboration with the Red Cross to provide volunteer attorneys to assist disaster victims. The program is limited to officially declared disasters.

Contact information:
243 East High St.

Suite 300,

Jefferson City, MO 65101
phone: (573) 635-5215
facsimile: (573) 634-6282
e-mail: mata@socket.net
website: http://www.matanet.org/index.cfm?ph=DisasterRelief

Also, a variety of pro bono programs throughout the state focuses on a particular area of the law or a specific group of people. The Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, with offices in St. Louis and Kansas City, for example, provides pro bono legal and accounting assistance to qualifying artists and arts organizations from all creative disciplines.

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The Samaritan Center Legal Care: Legal Care began in 2003. The program is affiliated with the Samaritan Center, a multi-service charitable agency providing food, clothing, utility assistance, free medicine assistance, dental clinic, medical clinic and other services. All attorneys and secretaries are volunteers.
Geographic service area: Primarily counties surrounding Jefferson City including Cole, Moniteau, Miller, Osage, Maries and Callaway
Areas of law in which assistance is offered: All civil matters. No criminal or traffic matters.
Income Eligibility Criteria: The program primarily is for persons whose household income is at or below 150% of federal poverty level.

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Contact information:
1310 E. McCarty St.

Jefferson City, MO 65101
phone: (573) 634-7776
facsimile: (573) 761-4856
e-mail: LegalCare@MidMoSamaritan.org
website: www.midmosamaritan.org

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Joplin

Legal Aid of Western Missouri
302 S. Joplin
P. O. Box 1605
Joplin, MO 64802
Phone: (417) 782-1650
Phone: (800) 492-7095
Web: http://www.lawmo.org/offices.htm

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Kansas City

The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri, Inc., defends civil liberties and the principles of equality and justice in Missouri through its litigation, legislative and public education programs. The ACLU assists thousands of people each year in asserting their rights. They work in the courts through litigation, in communities through public education and advocacy, and through our legislative work at the local and state levels. If you believe your civil liberties have been violated, go to their Complaints page.

3601 Main Street
Kansas City, Missouri 64111
Intake Line: (816) 756-3113
Administrative Lines: (816) 470-9933
General E-mail: webmaster@aclu-mo.org
Website: aclu-mo.org

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Legal Aid of Western Missouri operates the Volunteer Attorney Project (VAP). Currently consisting of more than 900 enrolled volunteer attorneys, VAP provides services in a 40-county area of western Missouri. The cities and counties they cover include Jackson, Clay, Platte, Benton, Camden, Carroll, Cass, Henry, Hickory, Johnson, Lafayette, Morgan, Pettis, Ray, Saline, St. Clair, Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry, Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Linn, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Putnam, Sullivan, Worth, Barton, Bates, Jasper, McDonald, Newton, and Vernon. While Legal Aid of Western Missouri has several offices, their primary locations are in Kansas City, Warrensburg, St. Joseph, and Joplin. Its services include specialized programs that focus on victims of abuse, the homeless and the elderly.
Areas of law in which legal assistance is offered: dissolution of marriage, guardianships of minor children, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, drafting of beneficiary deeds and consumer matters including credit card collection defense, defective auto sales contracts and other contract disputes, public and private landlord-tenant disputes, education, representing victims of predatory mortgage lending and other housing matters

Income Eligibility Criteria: 125% of federal poverty guidelines (in exceptional circumstances up to 200% of federal poverty guidelines

Contact information:
Legal Aid of Western Missouri – Central Office
1125 Grand Blvd., #1900
Kansas City, MO 64106
Phone: (816) 474-6750
Web: http://www.lawmo.org/
e-mail: lscott@lawmo.org

Legal Aid of Western Missouri – West Office
920 Southwest Blvd.
Kansas City, MO 64108
Phone: (816) 474-9868
Web: http://www.lawmo.org/

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Rolla

Legal Services of Southern Missouri
1412 East State Route 72
Rolla, MO 65401
Phone: (573) 341-3655
Phone: (800) 999-0249
Website: http://www.lsosm.org/

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Springfield

Legal Services of Southern Missouri
Areas of law in which legal assistance is offered: consumer law, domestic/sexual violence, elder law, family law, housing, income maintenance, individual rights. public benefits, wills/guardianships

Income Eligibility Criteria: 125% federal poverty guidelines with some exceptions

Contact information:
Deanna Scott, Director of Litigation
Office address: 809 N. Campbell Ave., Springfield, MO 65802
phone: (417) 881-1397
facsimile: (417) 881-2159, (800) 444-4863
e-mail: deanna.scott@lsosm.org
website: www.lsosm.org

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St. Joseph

Legal Aid of Western Missouri
106 South 7th Street, 4th Floor
St. Joseph, MO 64502
Phone: (816) 364-2325
Phone: (800) 892-2101
Web: http://www.lawmo.org/offices.htm

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Union

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri Main Office
20 S. Church Street, Suite C
Union, MO 63084
Phone: (636) 583-7877
Phone: (866) 583-7877
Web: http://www.lsem.org

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Warrensburg

Legal Aid of Western Missouri
305 N. Holden
Warrensburg, MO 64093
Phone: (660) 747-7101
Phone: 1-800-892-2943
Web: http://www.lawmo.org/offices.htm

 

 

 

 

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