Last updated: September 26, 2013
Do you have a legal issue, but can’t afford to hire an attorney? There are many options for free or low-cost legal services for residents of Providence County. The main way is through the nonprofit legal assistance program administered Rhode Island Legal Services. They provide legal aid to low-income Rhode Islanders. There may be income limits that apply for you to qualify for free help. Contact the specific agency to learn more. Below is a list of several organizations available to help you.
Areas of Law: Criminal Justice, Cyber Liberties, Discrimination, Election and Voting, Free Speech, LGBT Rights, Immigrant Rights, National Security, Police Practices, Poverty Rights, Prisons, Privacy, Reproductive Freedom and Youth Rights.
Good to Know: The ACLU does not usually assist in the following types of cases: criminal cases; cases occurring outside of Rhode Island; divorce, child custody or support cases; private employment disputes; or other civil disputes between private individuals.
Good to Know: RILS is the main provider of low-cost legal aid in the state. They also provides free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, regardless of their income, in a variety of civil matters, including representing victims of domestic violence in restraining orders cases.
Types of Cases: Most non-criminal matters including: Bankruptcy, Benefits Collections, Consumer, Employment, Family Law, Guardianship, Housing, License Registry, Special Education, Tort Defenses, and Wills.
Good to Know: This is a public service program administered by the Bar Association. Call in advance to see if you qualify. Staff is fluent in both English and Spanish.
Areas of Law: Most areas of law. Call for details.
Good to Know: This is an attorney referral service. Reduced fee referrals are available to income eligible clients. All clients qualify for free half hour consultation.
Good to Know: This office provides free legal assistance to persons with disabilities. Services include individual representation to protect rights or to secure benefits and services; self-help information; educational programs; and administrative and legislative advocacy.
Areas of Law: Adjustment of Status, Employment authorization, Family-based Visa petitions, NACARA, Naturalization/Citizenship, Temporary Protected Status, and Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions.
Good to Know: Representatives are fluent in English, Haitian Creole, Portuguese, Spanish, and Tigrinya.
Areas of Law: Housing, Social Security, Medical Assistance, Veterans' issues, Family Independence Program, court procedures, bankruptcy and identification issues, Public Benefits, Unemployment Appeals, and Expungement.
Areas of Law: Neighborhood, Housing, Family, Consumer, Discrimination, Custody and Visitation.
Good to Know: All of CMCRI’s mediation services are either free or charged on a sliding scale based on income. No client will be turned away due to an inability to pay.