Last updated: November 22, 2013
You have a legal issue in the Trenton. You can’t afford a lawyer. You barely make minimum wage waiting tables and are trying to pay your way through Rutgers. Or maybe you are a single parent trying to make ends meet. Whatever your situation, there’s good news for residents of Mercer County. You may qualify for free or low-cost legal services.
The main provider is Central Jersey Legal Services, a nonprofit legal aid organization providing free legal aid to low-income residents and seniors. County bar associations may also provide valuable information and more. Income limits may 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. Requests for legal assistance must be submitted online.
Areas of Law: Civil
Good to Know: This office assists low-income residents of Trenton, New Brunswick, Perth Amboy and Elizabeth. They do not handle any criminal matters.
Areas of Law: Family, Real Estate, Landlord/Tenant, Personal Injury, Wills and Estates, Bankruptcy, Criminal, Municipal, and Immigration
Good to Know: Volunteer lawyers will assist Mercer County residents on a first-come, first-served basis at rotating legal clinics. Call to learn more.
Area of Law: Civil, Criminal Record Expungement, Consumer, Disability, Domestic Violence, Education, Family Law, Health Care Access, Housing, Immigration, Name Changes, Public Benefits, Senior Issues Small Claims, and more.
Good to Know: This is New Jersey’s statewide legal hotline that provides brief service, advice and referrals over the telephone to low-income residents of New Jersey with civil legal problems. Criminal cases are referred elsewhere. Individuals can speak with attorneys in English and Spanish. The service is free, but income limits apply.
Areas of Law: Domestic Violence, Restraining Orders, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking
Good to Know: Trained legal advocates are able to inform you of your rights, assist you in apply for a restraining order, and act as liaison with law enforcement.
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: Immigration, Asylum, Domestic Violence
Good to Know: Services are free or on a sliding scale depending on your income level.
Areas of Law: Immigration, Asylum
Good to Know: This organization may charge a nominal fee for services. Call to learn more.
Areas of Law: Family Law, Employment Law, Debtor-Creditor Law
Good to Know: This pro bono program provides assistance to New Jersey residents who have served overseas as active duty members of reserve components of the armed forces after September 11, 2001.