This information has been created to give you general information about the law. It is not legal advice on a particular issue. If you have any questions about the law, you should consult a lawyer. If you don`t know a lawyer, you can call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. The number is 799-7100 in Richland or Lexington counties and 1-800-868-2284 in other parts of the state. You can also ask your local law society if they offer any of the following free services to people who need legal assistance: LawHelp Interactive will help you fill out legal forms. Looking for more information on this topic? Visit LawHelp.org and select your state to find more self-help resources and information about free, low-cost legal aid providers in your area. Upsolve – Find free legal help to declare bankruptcy. Keep in mind that Chapter 7 bankruptcy information remains on your credit file for 10 years. This can make it difficult to get loans, buy a home, get life insurance, or get a job.
Learn more about bankruptcy and other options for dealing with debt. Raising awareness of the important role of civil legal aid is crucial, as research shows that the majority of low- and middle-income Americans don`t view the problems they face as legal problems — frustrating efforts to match people with the right services. A family may be concerned about unsafe housing conditions or the expulsion of a son from school, but they often see this as personal or social problems or simply bad luck, while a civil lawyer may be able to find a legal solution. Research also shows that the poor are twice as likely as their middle-income counterparts to do nothing to solve their civil justice problems, even though they need even more help. And it is not only the poor who neglect the potential of civil legal aid. They are also the ones who try to help them. Federal policymakers can play a valuable role in raising awareness because they can get information about who needs help, as well as which grantees and nonprofit and state partners help manage federal programs and initiatives. Civil legal aid is provided free of charge by non-profit legal aid organizations, pro bono volunteers (lawyers, law students and paralegals), law schools, court services such as self-help centres, and online technologies such as document compilation and legal information websites. The largest funder of civil legal aid to low-income Americans in the United States is the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), which allocates more than 90% of its total congressional funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 800 offices serving every county and territory in the country. LSC is governed by a bipartisan Board of Directors, whose 11 members are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. LSC-funded programs help people living in households with an annual income of 125% or less of federal poverty guidelines.
LSC-funded organizations represent approximately 25% of the total number of civil legal aid providers nationally. There are hundreds of independently managed, not-for-profit civil legal aid programs that do not receive funding from LSC and may focus on specific populations or issues (e.g., children, homeless, people with disabilities, veterans, etc.), provide broader services, including legal aid, coordinating pro bono programs or specializing in self-help. Many of these programs and services are not limited to those earning up to 125% of federal poverty guidelines. Some programs may have funding that allows them, for example, to serve abused American seniors or domestic workers, regardless of income. Self-help and information services are available to all. “Civil Legal Assistance” or “Civil Legal Advice” refers to all of these programs. LSC encourages – and all non-LSC programs depend on it – the use of limited resources through partnerships and collaborations with other public and private donors for civil legal aid, including states and municipalities, interest on lawyers` trust accounts (IOLTA), government access to judicial commissions, the private bar association, philanthropic foundations and the business community. Armed Forces Legal Assistance – Find nearby military facilities with legal aid offices. The type of legal aid available through civil legal aid programs includes: LSC-funded legal aid in the shaded red area is managed by: In addition to asking friends and family for the name of a good lawyer or checking the phone book, you can find legal aid online. Pension Entitlement Centre – Get free legal help if you have problems with your pension, profit-sharing or retirement savings. You may be entitled to free legal aid from a court-appointed lawyer or public defender if your freedom is threatened (in other words, you must go to prison). A public defender is a lawyer who represents defendants who cannot afford a lawyer, and the Constitution guarantees the right to legal assistance in certain cases.
If you currently receive financial assistance through other public assistance programs such as SSI/SSP, Food Stamps Program, County Relief, Older Americans Act, and Developmentally Disabled Assistance Act, you may be eligible for additional free legal services in your state. Non-criminal legal services for individuals who cannot afford a private lawyer are provided by SC Legal Services. Some of the types of legal services that may be available include: evictions, bankruptcies, health issues, education, mortgage foreclosures, Social Security disability, employment issues, some limited divorce and custody issues, food stamps, and social issues. Legal Services programs do not deal with criminal matters; If you have questions about criminal law, see Public Defence Services. U.S. veterans with mental and physical disabilities may be eligible for free legal assistance on issues ranging from rent assistance to child visitation issues. For eligibility criteria, check with your local veterans` association to see if you or a member of your household is eligible for free legal aid for a range of services. Free pro bono legal aid – Find free or low-income legal aid. Created by FindLaw`s team of writers and legal writers| Last updated: 20 June 2016 Many agencies provide free legal advice to immigrants and other non-citizens who need help with issues such as visa applications, green cards, deportation procedures, and work permits.
Conditions for participation vary from program to program. The total amount allocated to the provision of civil legal assistance in the United States is approximately $1.345 billion. The Legal Services Corporation (LSC) is the largest funder of legal aid programs in the United States, providing about one-quarter of these funds. LSC is a government-funded non-profit organization that awards scholarships to 134 scholars nationwide. With this federal funding, recipients must meet certain restrictions on advocacy and client eligibility that do not apply to many other sources of civil legal aid funding. NLADA played a leading role in the founding of the LSC in 1974 and continues to lobby Congress vigorously for funding. Private lawyers, legal aid clinics and advocacy groups with lawyers often handle cases that fall within their particular area of interest. For example, you might be able to get free help from a lawyer for a wage discrimination lawsuit against an employer if it has the potential to become a larger class action lawsuit. The pro bono support of private lawyers is an invaluable addition to the services offered by employee legal aid programs. Pro bono practice is quickly institutionalized in private companies and corporate legal departments. However, the unmet need for civil legal aid is so great that only transformative changes in the provision of special legal aid structures in the United States will enable that country to provide access to justice for all. Ensuring access to legal solutions can not only improve outcomes for those seeking help, but also save public money in the long run by preventing issues such as homelessness or health problems, which can be extremely costly and harmful to individuals and the public.
Legal Services Corporation (LSC) – Find legal help for low-income individuals and families. Civil legal aid refers to both free legal advice and legal information for low- and middle-income individuals to resolve civil law problems they may face.