Last updated: October 22, 2013
Legal problems can be time-consuming and costly. Do you need a lawyer, but can’t afford it? In Knox County, you have options. There are several free or low-cost legal services in the area. The main sources are through legal assistance programs such as Legal Aid of East Tennessee, a nonprofit organization providing free legal aid to low-income residents and seniors, or through law school clinics. 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 and complaints about lawyers or judges. To apply for services, fill out an intake form.
Areas of Law: Civil, Consumer, Domestic Violence, Employment, Elder, Family, Housing, Public Benefits, Tax
Good to Know: This organization is the main legal aid service provider in Knox County. They do not handle criminal cases. Income limits apply to qualify for services, but some assistance is available to senior citizens over the age of 60 who exceed income limits. They also offer legal workshops at various locations. Call to learn more.
Area of Law: AID/HIV advocacy
Good to Know: This organization offers information and resources for people with HIV/AIDS. They can provide referrals to various service organizations statewide.
Areas of Law: Divorce, Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, Human Trafficking
Good to Know: Legal services include referrals, assistance with filing protective orders, and representation in court for protective orders. There is no income requirement and all services are free.
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: Asylum, Anti-Trafficking, Domestic Violence, Immigration, Naturalization
Good to Know: They provide a wide range of services for immigrants including help for citizenship, family reunification, asylum, and for refugees.
Areas of Law: Community Disputes, Family, Civil, and Limited Criminal
Good to Know: This organization provides Knox County residents help in resolving disputes within their families or with neighbors, businesses, or organizations. There is a nominal application fee, but mediation services are free for low-income persons.
Good to Know: The Law School only accepts cases at certain times of the year. Call to learn more.