Last updated: December 6, 2013
Do you need legal help but can’t afford to hire a private attorney? If so, you have come to the right place. We have compiled a list of providers in Kent County who may be able to assist you, including some resources to help you represent yourself.
Although some services are restricted to those within specific income brackets, others are open to anyone who needs help. So whether your issue is with housing, family law, employment or some other matter, hopefully one of these organizations can help.
Note: Legal Aid of Western Michigan (LAWM) provides legal advice and representation for low-income individuals (at or slightly above the federal poverty level) and seniors (age 60+) in civil non-fee-generating cases such as consumer, housing, family, and public benefits law. You may wish to check out their Frequently Asked Questions page for additional information. Although you may access their services by calling (616) 774-0672, you may also check out the online resources, such as the Legal Resource Library, or the Ask A Legal Question service in which (if you qualify for services) legal information and advice can be provided online.
Note: If you have a family, housing or consumer matter and are interested in handling it on your own, but need information and resources, you may want to check out the Legal Assistance Center (LAC). There are no income or other requirements and most of the help is free. In order to access the LAC you may either drop in Tuesdays through Fridays 8:30 am to 5 pm, call (616) 632-6000, or browse through the on-line resources including forms and informational handouts.
Note: If you are a renter in Kent County and are having a housing related problem, Kent County Renters Alliance (KCRA) offers weekly free legal advice clinics for renters. You may also contact them by telephone about your rights and responsibilities. In addition, you may access KCRA brochures on issues such as repairs and maintenance, security deposits, evictions, and more on the website.
Note: If you believe you have been the victim of housing discrimination, the Fair Housing Center of West Michigan (FHCWM) may be able to assist you with reporting, mediation and resolution. Check here for more information regarding FHCWM’s advocacy and enforcement programs. If you have questions, you may call (616) 451-2980 or drop in Monday through Friday 8:30 am to 5 pm.
Note: If you have been charged with a felony and cannot afford a private defense attorney, the Kent County Office of the Defender may be able to help you.
Note: The Lawyer Referral & Information Service (LRIS) arranges ½ hour consultations with participating lawyers for a $25 administrative fee. After ½ hour, the lawyer’s regular fee will apply. You may wish to refer to the Frequently Asked Questions for more information.
Note: This organization participates in advocacy, education, and legal advice and representation for low-income farm workers and their families in areas such as employment, housing, education, public benefits, civil rights, etc.
Note: This group provides legal representation in immigration matters. In order to qualify for services, your household income must be below 200% of the poverty line.