Last updated: September 27, 2013
If you’re from Detroit, you already know how to handle bad news and hard times—the housing crisis, decreasing population, the Detroit Lions, etc. With so many things that could go wrong, it’s tough to find peace of mind. Luckily Detroit has one of the best networks of free legal help in the country. So when life disrupts your rhythm and gives you too much blues, someone in Detroit has your back.
Legal assistance in Metro Detroit comes in a variety of forms. Some organizations provide direct representation which means that they’ll assign a lawyer to work on your case, either from start to finish, or for some portion. Other organizations will have you talk to a lawyer for hours or minutes free of charge. For all of you Tim Allen, do-it-yourself-types some organizations give you the tools (pun intended) to work on your case.
L.A.D.A. represents Metro Detroit clients with low and moderate income in civil cases throughout the Tri-County area. The organization also accepts federal criminal cases in the Eastern District of Michigan. Typical legal issues include: foreclosures, evictions, public benefits, and debt collection defense. The Detroit office accepts walk-in clients on Mondays from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. only. Call L.A.D.A. or visit the organization online for more details on its intake procedures. L.A.D.A. meets clients in one of three offices:
Client Service Center, Detroit and Wayne County
1240 Third Street
Detroit, MI 48226
Client Service Center, Oakland County
Oakland Towne Center
28 North Saginaw Street
Pontiac, MI 48342
32 Market Street
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
N.L.S. offers a wide range of legal services. In some cases, payment would only be required if the client receives a favorable outcome. Typical client matters include: domestic violence, bankruptcy, elder abuse, Social Security, and H.I.V./A.I.D.S.-related legal issues.
Michigan Legal Services helps clients with property tax issues and issues related to homelessness.
FHC investigates clients’ complaints of housing discrimination. The organization will initiate begin negotiation and formal litigation on behalf of clients. FHC refers some discrimination cases to other attorneys, agencies, and resources.
Community Legal Resources (“CLR”) is one of several programs operated by Michigan Community Resources. CLR provides free legal services to nonprofit organizations. The organization refers clients to volunteer attorneys.
CFA represents families with low incomes to help minimize the time that children must stay in foster care.
A.A.S. helps families and individuals with low or moderate income prepare their income taxes.
The center’s staff, or “navigators,” guide visitors towards legal resources and help them with legal forms. Navigators may not represent visitors or give legal advice. This Self-Help Center is also the site of free law clinics, including:
Attorneys help visitors prepare court motions if the visitors do not have an attorney. The clinic meets each month on the second Thursday between Noon and 2:00 P.M.
The center’s staff, or “navigators,” guide visitors towards legal resources and help them with legal forms. Navigators may not represent visitors or give legal advice. This Self-Help Center is also the site of several free law clinics, including:
Common Ground Legal Aid Clinic
Licensed attorneys are available Thursdays between 11:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. to discuss any legal matter. The attorneys meet with visitors on a first come, first serve basis.
University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Mobile Law Office
Individuals with low incomes can meet with attorneys and law students two Tuesdays per month between 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M.
Family Law Assistance Project
Participants may receive help with Personal Protection Orders and other family law issues. In order to participate, you must (1) have a low income, (2) not have an attorney, and (3) be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, and (4) have an issue occurring in Oakland County. Children are not allowed at the clinic.