Last updated: September 26, 2013
Many organizations offer free or low-cost help with your legal matters, proving that Philly really is “The City That Loves You Back.” Most of these organizations will be located in the 19102 and 19107 zip codes so they will be accessible by public transportation and close to City Hall, The Juanita Kidd Stout Center for Criminal Justice and other Philadelphia courthouses.
This guide will help you: (1) Find someone to represent you (2) get information or (3) find other possible resources. Finally, scroll to the bottom for a list of more specialized legal service providers.
C.L.S. helps clients who have lower incomes with a variety of issues including: Benefits, Criminal Records, Disability, Domestic Violence, Employment, Housing, and many others. C.L.S. provides free interpreters in Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Polish, Arabic, Korean, Bengal, Traditional Chinese, and several other languages.
P.L.A. provides help to clients with incomes at or below 125% of the Federal Poverty Guideline. P.L.A. provides a chart to determine if you are eligible for free assistance. If you qualify for free assistance, P.L.A. may be able to represent you through its: (1) Pennsylvania Farmwork Project; (2) Public Benefit Unit; (3) Consumer Housing Unit; or (4) Family Law Unit. Call ahead of time, and P.L.A. will provide an interpreter for you.
Philadelphia VIP accepts cases that have been referred by Community Legal Services, Philadelphia Legal Assistance, and other service organizations. VIP handles many sorts of cases including: child support, employment, tax, disability, housing, child custody, special education, immigration, and many more. VIP clients must have an income at or below 200% of the federal poverty guidelines.
The Defender Association of Philadelphia is a collection of attorneys that represent people who cannot afford an attorney in their criminal and mental health proceedings. They are sometimes known as Public Defenders. This organization is different from other free legal service providers because only the Court of Common Pleas and Municipal Court may appoint counsel. For more information on how a Public Defender may be able to help you, call the office or check their list of clients’ frequently asked questions.
Hotline: (866) 723-3014
Helpline: (877) PASRLAW