Last updated: October 21, 2013
To outsiders Bridgeport may be famous for several things: music festivals, public parks (Park City), frequent professional wrestling events, but more and more, the commute to New York City. The Amtrak and Metro are great, but if you have to take a train Monday through Friday to work, the last thing you want to do is commute to find quality legal services. Luckily, you can get the services you need right here in The Port.
Greater Bridgeport isn't the largest region in the Northeast, but the people here have a lot of heart. That's why there are so many attorneys willing to help people in need. In the case of a disaster, such as Hurricane Sandy, or even everyday hard times, someone is there to help. FindLaw is here to make it easier to get the help you need.
Legal service providers in Connecticut make things easy on people who need help. The legal services network instructs that Statewide Legal Services is the beginning point for most people who are looking for free advice or representation. The organization offers advice and free referrals to other service providers. Call the hotline M-F 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M.
Someone from the organization will interview you to determine your eligibility. That representitive will ask about your income and family living situation. The office will contact you again in about five business days with further directions.
Attorneys with Connecticut Legal Services (CLS) specialize in housing, public benefits, empolyment, education, and family law -- as well as several other non-criminal fields. They offer free assistance to individuals who qualify based on income. Both the Bridgeport and Stamford offices cover southwest Connecticut. Call the phone numbers listed above to apply for help. You may be directed first to Statewide Legal Services (see above) if the CLS can't do your intake directly.
Criminal defendants have a right to an attorney. If you cannot afford an attorney, because you don't have either the income or the assets, you may qualify for free representation. Visit the website for Income Eligibility Guidelines. This will give you an idea of whether you can expect free help. Verify this information by aksing to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. You will have at least two chances to request an attorney: (1) upon arrest and (2) at the time of your first court appearance.
The U.S. District of Connecticut has a pro bono program providing attorneys to individual debtors. The application is available online. Fill it out and submit it to the court for a determination.
These centers are located in Superior Courthouses. In Stamford, visit the courthouse at 123 Hoyt Street. Self-represented parties can find court forms, accessible computers and office equipment, and a helpful staff trained to assist the public. The staff can also direct you to other local resources that you may need.