Last updated: November 22, 2013
If you need legal help, but don’t have the funds to hire a private attorney, you can feel alone, frustrated, and confused. To help you, we have compiled a brief list of the legal aid organizations in Hamilton County. Even if you don’t qualify for direct legal representation, we have included the websites’ links to legal brochures and forms that may answer your questions and/or help you handle your matter on your own. So whether you are dealing with a bankruptcy, domestic violence issue, landlord tenant dispute or some other matter, hopefully you will be able to find the help you need through one of these organizations.
Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET) provides legal assistance and advocacy in civil legal matters. They do not handle criminal matters. The focus is primarily low-income families, but in certain circumstances they can also assist those with higher incomes who are over 60 years old or who are domestic violence survivors. You may apply online for direct services here. You will then speak to a client intake specialist, after which LAET may schedule an appointment with you, may refer you to another organization, or may provide you with advice or educational materials. The LAET website also has a variety of legal information brochures you may find helpful on topics such as divorce, bankruptcy, tenant rights, emancipation, power of attorney and more. In addition, LAET sponsors a Legal Speakers Bureau through which you can have a qualified speaker come to your community, school, shelter, etc. to speak on topics including foreclosure, tax, custody, public benefits and domestic violence. The speaker will give a presentation, provide educational materials and answer questions.
This is a public interest law firm operating as a nonprofit legal organization. Its primary focus is family law and protective orders, although the website provides information on a variety of other topics as well. You may go here to access frequently used forms in areas including conservatorships, estates, divorce, housing and more. The Frequent Questions section provides brief legal information for non-lawyers on a wide variety of subject areas including leases, property, employment, lawsuits, bankruptcy, social security, Medicare, wills, etc.
If you are in crisis as a result of family violence, sexual assault, chronic homelessness or other emergency, the staff here may be able to help you with legal assistance and court advocacy. You may call the business line (above), or to reach the confidential hotline 24/7 call (423) 755-2700.
If you have been charged with a crime, but don’t have the means to hire a private defense attorney, contact the public defender’s office to see whether you qualify for services.