Free Legal Aid in Charleston

Last updated: November 15, 2013

When you need legal help, but can’t afford to hire a private attorney, you can feel confused, alone and frightened. Fortunately, there are a variety of organizations and agencies in Charleston that may be able to help you. So whether you need help with your divorce, are facing criminal charges, are involved in a housing dispute, or have a different legal need, we have compiled a list of places in The Holy City for you to check out.

  • South Carolina Legal Services

    Charleston Office
    2803 Carner Avenue

    Charleston,
    SC 29405

    Tel: (888) 720-2320

    Note: The Charleston office of the South Carolina Legal Services (“SCLS”) serves Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester, Hampton and Jasper counties. SCLS handles non-fee generating civil (non-criminal) matters. In order to receive SCLS services you must meet their income guidelines (based on the federal poverty guidelines). However, even if you do not qualify, their main website and the affiliated LawHelp.org/SC has a variety of materials you can use on a self-help basis, including a variety of legal brochures, forms, and legal library. The Charleston office also sponsors a free Pro Se Divorce Clinic if you wish to represent yourself in your divorce.

  • Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation

    1535 Sam Rittenberg Boulevard
    Suite D

    Charleston,
    SC 29407

    Tel: (843) 745-7055

    Note: This organization seeks to “prevent land loss among low wealth heirs’ property owners by helping them obtain clear title and keep their family land through legal education, legal and mediation services, community empowerment and free Wills Clinics.” They serve Beaufort, Berkeley, Charleston, Colleton, Dorchester and Georgetown counties. For additional information, check the website’s section on Frequently Asked Questions or the definitions and explanations of heirs’ property, heirs, and myths and truths about heirs’ property ownership.

  • Charleston County Public Defender

    101 Meeting Street
    5th Floor

    Charleston,
    SC 29401

    Tel: (843) 958-1850

    Note: If you have been charged with a criminal offense for which you can be imprisoned and meet the federal poverty guidelines, the public defender may be able to assist you. Adult screening in the office takes place every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 2-4pm.

  • Charleston Pro Bono Legal Services

    111 Church Street
    Charleston,
    SC 29401

    Tel: (843) 853-6456

    Note: This non-profit organization was created by the Charleston County Bar Association and handles civil matters for low income individuals. Typical areas of representation include: family, housing, probate, public benefits, and consumer cases. To be eligible for services you must have a gross household income of less than 200% of the federal poverty threshold and you must be a U.S. citizen or eligible alien. To determine whether you may be able to use these services contact (843) 853-6456 for a screening interview.

  • Catholic Charities Office of Immigration Services of Charleston

    1145 Six Mile Road
    Mt. Pleasant,
    SC 29466

    Tel: (843) 388-0089

    Note: This organization provides low-cost immigration counseling. Fees are based on a sliding scale. They can help with filings for citizenship, asylum, permanent residency and more, but specifically do not represent individuals convicted of domestic violence or drug-related crimes.

  • Lowcountry AIDS Services

    3547 Meeting Street Road
    Charleston,
    SC 29405

    Tel: (843) 747-2273

    Note: This organization offers the opportunity to meet with an attorney free of charge to discuss issues such as wills, power of attorney, health insurance, and more.