Last updated: November 26, 2013
Charleston is home to the highest court in West Virginia and the headquarters of the West Virginia State Bar. So why does it seem so hard to find an affordable attorney in the city? Fortunately, if you have a legal problem in Charleston, there are organizations that offer free or low-cost legal services to people who need them.
This guide to free legal aid in Charleston can point you in the right direction. Start with Legal Aid of West Virginia, the largest legal aid organization in the state. Social services organizations in Charleston like Catholic Charities and the YWCA also provide limited legal services in special practice areas.
Legal Aid of West Virginia (LAWV) is a non-profit organization that offers free legal representation to low-income clients in civil (non-criminal) legal matters. The main administrative office is located in Charleston, but LAWV has 12 offices throughout the state.
LAWV also has some special projects it has developed in order to provide services to specific groups of people. The Long Term Care Ombudsman Program investigates complaints of abuse, neglect or mistreatment in nursing homes and long-term care units across the state. The Behavioral Health Advocacy Program provides legal support and services to individuals with mental and behavioral health disorders. The Family Advocacy, Support and Training (FAST) Program works with youth who have mental or behavioral disabilities and partners with parents to help them take control of their children’s treatment and services. They also have a toll-free line at (866) 255-4370.
Catholic Charities of West Virginia provides social services to West Virginia residents in and around Charleston and Wheeling. The immigration program offers immigration law services, and the Migration and Refugee Resettlement Program provides resettlement services to newly arrived refugees.
The YWCA Resolve Family Abuse Program offers comprehensive services for survivors of domestic violence, including 24/7 shelter and crisis hotline, case management and court advocacy, counseling, support groups, safety planning, parent-child visitation and exchange and more. You can also call them toll free at (800) 681-8663.