Last updated: October 11, 2013
Are you looking for free or low-cost legal services in Washington, D.C.? The nation’s capital and the center of all things legislative, D.C. is crawling with lawyers and legal services. The guide below lists organizations that offer legal services to income-eligible clients in D.C. for free or for a low fee. Some full service organizations will take your case and represent you from start to finish. Some will refer you to a pro-bono attorney who is willing to take on your case. Others offer clinics and information to help you solve you legal problem on your own. Whatever your legal needs, this guide can point you in the right direction.
The Legal Aid Society of D.C. was founded in 1932 to help low-income people have access to the legal services they need. The organization takes cases in four practice areas: family law, housing, public benefits and consumer issues. It also handles appeals in some cases. Intake interviews are conducted at the main office, listed below, and at several other locations.
Bread for the City is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing social services to D.C.’s low income and homeless residents. Through the organization’s many legal clinics, volunteer and staff attorneys assist low-income clients with landlord/tenant disputes, obtaining social security and other public benefits, family law matters, including domestic violence, and more. The contact info for the Southeast Center of the organization is:
1640 Good Hope Road, SE
Washington, DC 20020
Note: The D.C. Bar Association Advice and Referral Clinic accepts walk-ins at both Bread for the City locations on the second Saturday of each month from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
NLSP assists low-income D.C. residents with legal problems in a variety of civil (non-criminal) practice areas, including family law, housing law, consumer law, public benefits, employment law, wills, and more. Its Southeast Office can be reached at:
2811 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20020
The D.C. Bar Association offers several programs that help residents of D.C. with their legal issues. They include educational clinics, advice and referral clinics and resource centers:
Ayuda provides legal, social and language services to low-income immigrants in the D.C. area. Ayuda offers legal services in several areas, including domestic violence issues, family law, immigration law, and anti-trafficking issues.
The Children’s Law Center provides advocacy and lawyer referrals for children, parents and caregivers who are facing legal issues that affect children. Examples include adoption and foster care issues, education and disability law issues, custody disputes, public benefits applications and more.
The Family Court Self-Help Center provides free general legal information to unrepresented people dealing with family law issues, including divorce, custody, visitation and child support.
LCE provides legal advocacy for D.C. residents who are age 60 and older in most civil law areas, including housing law, public benefits, health care law, and consumer law. LCE does not offer criminal law help. LCE also has a Legal Hotline: (202) 434-2170.