Last updated: September 27, 2013
If you find yourself with a legal issue, but not enough money to hire a private attorney, you may wish to contact one of the agencies listed below to see whether they can help you with legal advice or representation.
Note: Legal Services of New Jersey serves as the coordinator for the legal services system across the state. The organization’s mission is to provide free legal assistance in civil legal matters to low income New Jerseyans. Legal Services is headquartered in Edison, but operates a statewide hotline: 1-888-576-5529 (Monday through Friday 8am to 5:30pm). It also provides a number of resources (including publications, videos, articles and forms) on its website for self-help purposes. There are two regional offices in the Bergen-Passaic (Northeast New Jersey) area, including one in Hackensack (listed above) as well as one in Paterson at 152 Market Street, 973-523-2900. Specific areas in which Northeast New Jersey Legal Services may be able to help you include: consumer, family, housing, public benefits, senior, disability, health, education and labor.
Note: If you are charged with a crime and cannot afford to hire a private defense attorney, the office of the public defender may be able to help you. There are 21 regional offices throughout New Jersey, including the one in Paterson (above) and one in Bergen County at 60 State Street, Hackensack, NJ 07601, 201-996-8030.
Note: Catholic Charities states that it provides services to all regardless of race, religion or lifestyle. The Legal Services Department within the Family and Community Services agency notes that it provides legal assistance with immigration matters as well as community legal education.
Note: If you are the victim of domestic violence, this non-profit organization provides legal advocacy services, including assistance in obtaining restraining orders.
Note: If you believe you have been discriminated against in the housing market (on the basis of race, gender, national origin, religion, color, disability, income status, sexual orientation, or family status), this non-profit organization conducts investigations and when necessary “helps its clients through the process of filing a complaint with the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, or filing a lawsuit in state or federal court.”
Note: Hyacinth is headquartered in New Brunswick, but operates a number of regional offices, including one in Paterson. If you are HIV+ the Paterson office can assist with free legal assistance in the areas of Social Security Disability, legal documents, guardianship and discrimination.