Last updated: October 18, 2013
Are you having a legal problem, but can’t afford to hire an attorney? There are many free or low-cost legal service options for residents living in Orleans Parish. The main providers are through legal assistance programs such as Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, a nonprofit organization providing free legal aid to low-income residents and seniors, or through law school clinics. There may be income limits that apply for you to qualify for free/low-cost help. Contact the specific agency to learn more. Below is a list of several organizations available to help you.
Areas of Law: Discrimination, Election and Voting, Freedom Speech, Freedom of Religion, Immigration Rights, LGBT Rights, Privacy, Police Practices, Jail and Prison Conditions, and other issues of fair treatment by government.
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, workers compensation issues, consumer complaints, landlord-tenant disputes, building code issues and complaints about lawyers or judges. To apply for services, fill out an intake form.
Areas of Law: Civil, Employment, Housing, Consumer, Family, Probate
Good to Know: This organization provides free legal help to low-income persons in civil law cases. They also run several clinics including Consumer debt, Succession, Elder issues, Homelessness, Employment and Wage Claims.
Areas of Law: Civil, Family Law, Divorce, Name Change, Child Custody
Good to Know: Attorney and staff at the Self Help Center will not provide legal advice. They can provide general information and legal forms to persons without an attorney.
Areas of Law: Civil, Consumer, Employment, Domestic Violence, Family, Housing, Public Benefits, Tax
Good to Know: This organization does not handle criminal cases. Income limits apply to qualify for services.
Areas of Law: AID/HIV advocacy, Estate Planning, notary services, Debtor/Creditor, Public Benefits, Insurance/Employee Benefits, Discrimination on the basis of HIV Status in Employment, Housing and Access to Public Accommodations; and Issues of Confidentiality and Transmission liability.
Good to Know: AIDSLaw provides free legal services to low-income Louisiana residents (incomes below 400% of the federal poverty level) with an HIV and/or AIDS diagnosis.
Areas of Law: Juvenile Rights
Good to Know: The Children’s Defense Team is New Orleans’ juvenile public defender, providing holistic, cross-disciplinary advocacy to help young people. Call to learn intake procedures.
Areas of Law: Disability, Public Benefits, Abuse/Neglect
Good to Know: This organization provides legal representation for issues relating to disability, special education, legal status, public benefits, community integration, institutional rights, employment and rehabilitation, and abuse/neglect, nursing homes and legal and ombudsman services for individuals living in group homes, psychiatric hospital and child residential facilities.
Areas of Law: Divorce, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking
Good to Know: Legal services include referrals, assistance with filing protective orders, and representation in court for protective orders. There is no income requirement and all services are free.
Important: If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 or the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).
Areas of Law: Asylum, Anti-Trafficking, Domestic Violence, Immigration, Naturalization
Good to Know: This organization provides free/low-cost immigration legal services. They also run a weekly radio show on 107.5 FM. The guests are interviewed on various topics/segments to provide information to the community about services available, current issues, and the efforts of special service of public assistance and outreach efforts.
Areas of Law: Copyright, Intellectual Property, Business Incorporation, Non-profit Incorporation, Contract Review/Disputes
Good to Know: This free legal service is for low-income artists, musicians, and grass roots non-profits in Louisiana. Call to learn about intake procedures.
Good to Know: The Law School accepts cases only at certain times of the year. Call to learn more.