Last updated: September 26, 2013
Do you have a legal issue, but can’t afford to hire an attorney? There are many options for free or low-cost legal services for residents of the Municipality of Anchorage. The main ways are through legal assistance programs such as the Alaska Legal Services Corporation, a nonprofit law firm providing legal aid to low-income Alaskans, or through a unique program facilitated by the Alaska State Bar that provides “unbundled legal services” to qualified individuals. There may be income limits that apply for you to qualify for free help. Contact the specific agency to learn more. Below is a list of several organizations available to help you.
Areas of Law: Criminal Justice, Cyber Liberties, Discrimination, Election and Voting, Free Speech, LGBT Rights, Immigrant Rights, National Security, Police Practices, Poverty Rights, Prisons, Privacy, Reproductive Freedom and Youth Rights.
Good to Know: The ACLU does not usually assist in the following types of cases: criminal defense or post-conviction appeals, divorce or child custody disputes, property disputes, tax problems, consumer complaints, landlord-tenant disputes, building code issues and complaints about lawyers or judges.
Areas of Law: Consumer, Education, Employment, Family Law, Juvenile, Health Care, Housing, Public Benefits, Individual Rights, and other miscellaneous cases.
Good to Know: This is the main provider of low-cost legal aid in the state. ALSC is prohibited from handling certain types of representation: (1) class actions; (2) criminal defense; (3) representation of prisoners in any type of case; (4) representation of undocumented non-citizens, with an exception if the case involves domestic violence or trafficking.
Areas of Law: Bankruptcy, Business, Consumer, Criminal, Employment, Estate Planning, Family, Immigration, Personal Injury, Real Estate and more. Click here for a complete list.
Good to Know: The Alaska Lawyer Referral Service is comprised of lawyers who have signed up to be listed on a state bar approved list. These attorneys are not free, but will provide a 30-minute consultation for $125.
Good to Know: This office handles disability-related issues including social security benefits, employment discrimination, Medicaid/Medicare appeals, housing discrimination, financial exploitation, access to appropriate special education programs, physical barriers/access to businesses or services and access to voting.
Areas of Law: Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Family Law
Good to Know: The ANJC provides advocacy and support services to low-income victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.
Good to Know: ANDVSA provides free attorneys to some domestic violence victims, primarily in divorce and custody cases but also in other civil matters. Please note, this agency does not provide crisis services.
Areas of Law: Abuse, Health Care, Public Benefits
Good to Know: The Self-Help Center does not provide legal advice or represent you in court. Staff does not see clients in the office, but only provides legal help on the phone.
Areas of Law: Immigration, Asylum, Citizenship, Deportation defense, Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault/Human Trafficking, Employment Visas, Family-Based Visa Petitions, Detainees Rights.
Good to Know: Call the office to schedule an individual consultation.
Areas of Law: Public Benefits, Housing, Pension
Good to Know: The office provides assistance to veterans, their families’ dependents, and widows in working with the Veterans Administration and filing for benefits. They provide benefits experts to assist in processing veteran claims for compensation, pension, medical care, education, job training, employment, veterans preference, housing, death and burial benefits, and other benefits.
Good to Know: The Alaska State Bar keeps a list of attorneys who provide limited legal services to clients. This is called "unbundled services." Basically instead of hiring an attorney for full representation, the client would hire the attorney to perform a specific service that they both agree upon. Fees vary based upon the individual lawyer. Examples of the services include: