Last updated: October 15, 2013
Do you have a legal issue, but can’t afford to hire an attorney? There are many free or low-cost legal service options for residents in Bernalillo County. Some of the main providers are New Mexico Legal Aid, a nonprofit civil legal advocacy organization providing free legal aid to low-income residents and seniors, or through the State Bar of New Mexico. 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, complaints about lawyers or judges, or tribal law matters. To apply, fill out the intake form.
Case Types: Child Custody, Dissolution of Marriage, Domestic Violence, Housing, Wills, Name Change, Landlord/Tenant, Small Claims-Civil
Good to Know: Call to learn dates and times.
Areas of Law: Civil Rights, Community Development, Consumer, Debt/Credit/Bankruptcy, Disability, Education, Elder Law, Employment, Family & Juvenile, Foreclosure, Health, HIV/AIDS, Homeless, Housing, Immigration & Naturalization, Life Planning, Nonprofit Organizations, Prisoners, Public Benefits, Taxes, Veterans
Good to Know: This is not a free service. You will get a 30-minute consultation with an attorney for $30.
Areas of Law: Landlord/Tenant disputes, Family law, Public Benefit, Housing and Job Discrimination, Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Employee Rights, Elder Law,
Mental Health and Disability Issues, Native American, Immigration
Good to Know: This organization provides free legal services to qualifying low-income New Mexico residents. They do not handle any criminal matters.
Areas of Law: Bankruptcy, Consumer Debt
Good to Know: This office offers bankruptcy assistance for low-income residents of Bernalillo County. Workshops begin with a presentation by volunteer attorneys, followed by a question and answer period. After the lecture, attorneys meet with individuals for a free one-on-one consultation to discuss specific bankruptcy and consumer debt issues.
Areas of Law: Disability, Abuse, Neglect, Benefits Assistance, and Employment, Access to Public Accommodations, Special Education, Negotiation, and Mediation.
Good to Know: This is a statewide program providing legal representation to those with mental and physical disabilities throughout New Mexico. Your legal issue must directly relate from your disability.
Areas of Law: Civil Medicare/Medicaid, Social Security, Powers of Attorney / Advance Healthcare Directives, Guardianships/Conservatorships, Long-Term Care, Foreclosure, Renters and Homeowners issues, Employment, Consumer Protection, Grandparent Caregivers, Creditor Problems, Transfer on Death Deeds, Estate Planning
Good to Know: Volunteer attorneys are available to answer basic legal questions via phone free of charge for New Mexico residents age 55 and over. They can also provide attorney referrals for more complex legal issues.
Areas of Law: Family, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault
Good to Know: Domestic violence services are offered in Spanish and free of cost to victims of domestic violence and their children, regardless of their legal immigration status. Attorneys represent clients in civil domestic violence and domestic matters cases.
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: Family Law, Domestic Violence, Landlord/Tenant, Small Claims
Good to Know: NMFLAG provides free legal assistance to unrepresented litigants. Dates and times vary. Call to learn intake procedure.
Areas of Law: Family, Child Abuse, Neglect, Foster, Health care, Education, Guardianship
Good to Know: This is a free legal resource for children, youth, and their caregivers. Call to learn about intake procedures.
Areas of Law: Gender discrimination, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Worker’s Rights
Good to Know: This organization takes a small number of cases. They generally assist in locating legal resources and referrals. They will NOT able assist in obtaining protective orders if you are a victim of domestic violence or with matters involving family law, including child support and child custody.
Area of Law: Homeless rights, Housing, Veterans, Public Benefits
Good to Know: This clinic is run through the State Bar and has limited hours. Call to learn about the intake procedure.
Area of Law: Domestic Violence, Immigration, and Naturalization
Good to Know: This organization handles a range of immigration-related issue. Services are free, but they do not handle cases that would involve the Immigration Court in El Paso, which are generally those involving deportation, removal, or serious criminal offenses.
Areas of Law: Worker’s Compensation, Labor Rights, Housing, Drivers’ Licenses, and Healthcare
Good to Know: This organization operates an immigrants’ rights hotline and information center. Call to learn more.
Areas of Law: Civil, Public Benefits
Good to Know: This organization provides legal advocacy for low-income New Mexicans who need representation in state administrative systems, the legislature and the courts regarding public benefits. Call to learn more.
Area of Law: Civil
Good to Know: This is a legal service for active military personnel and their families, including Reservists and National Guardsmen. Fees are determined on a case-by-case basis, depending on the condition of soldier’s deployment, the legal issue, and household income.
Areas of Law: Small Business, Housing, Domestic Violence, Immigration, Native American and Tribal Law
Good to Know: Cases are only accepted at certain times of the year or by referral from a judge. Call for consideration. To qualify you must be low-income. Contact the individual program for more information.