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Free/Low Cost Legal Services in New Orleans: Legal Aid/Self Help

Introduction

Legal aid resources offer free, sliding scale or low cost advice, assistance or representation to people who cannot otherwise afford legal counsel. Self help centers can give you guidance and acquaint you with the law. For some services, you must qualify financially. This list has resources that are general in scope. See the Subject Index which focuses on specific areas of law, such as problems with disability discrimination, protection of the elderly, expungement or legal issues effecting the LGBT community.

Legal Aid/Self Help

ABA Free Legal Answers - provides legal advice and assistance for civil legal questions, not criminal. You must qualify financially for this service. 

After Innocence - Re-entry assistance for exonerees, including lawyer referrals for free or low cost legal service for expungement, restoration of rights and public benefits, landlord-tenant issues, child custody and divorce, bankruptcy or tax problems. Contact: Jon Eldan, Director, (415) 307-3386. Email: jon@after-innocence.org

Center on Wrongful Convictions, Bluhm Legal Clinic - provides legal representation to persons who have been wrongfully convicted do to coerced confessions, official misconduct or for other reasons listed on their website. Cases will not be accepted over the phone. For consideration, send a letter to: Center on Wrongful Convictions, Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, 375 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago, IL 60611. 

Innocence project - provides legal representation to person on post-conviction appeal in which DNA testing can prove innocence.  They do not take cases by phone or walk-ins. See website for eligibility and a form that must be completed and mailed to: Innocence Project, Intake Department, 40 Worth St., Suite 701, New York, NY 10013. 

LEAP (Legal Education and Assistance Program), Louisiana State Bar Association - provides legal resources by parish, including lawyer referrals, legal aid, law libraries and guides on specific topics. See LEAP on the LSBA website and the Law Library of Louisiana website. For expungement see the Law Library of Louisiana. 

Legal Aid Area Directory - provides a list of free legal assistance and/or representation in civil cases to low-income residents. 

Louisiana Appellate Project - provides appellate services for indigents in all non-capital felony appeals. Contact: James H. Looney, Director, P.O. Box 3340, Covington, LA 70434-3340. (985) 892-1707, fax: (985) 892-9377. 

Louisiana Civil Justice Center - provides free advice on civil legal issues, forms, legal services outreach (see “Tour” on their website) and self-help resource centers. See their website to fill out an intake form. Call toll free: (800) 310-7029, or locally (504) 355-0970. Hours are Mon.-Fri. 9:00-4:00. 

LouisianaLawHelp.org - is an online guide for free legal help in Louisiana, but also has basic information about legal rights, court information, forms, legal self-help resources, links to social service agencies, and more. 

Louisiana Public Defender Board - coordinates the Public Defender system in Louisiana. Public defenders are assigned by the courts. The website lists contact information for public defenders by parish. 

Low Profit Law Group of Louisiana, L3C - provides legal representation on a sliding scale based on the client’s income. Contact: 1050 South Jefferson Davis Parkway, Suite 201, New Orleans, LA 70125. Hours are Mon.-Fri. 9:00-5:00. (504) 304-3323, fax: (504) 304-3324. Email general inquiries to: LowProfitLawGroupLA@gmail.com

Loyola Law Clinic -The Stuart H. Smith Law Clinic and Center for Social Justice - provides legal services for the indigent in New Orleans, for cases involving criminal law, immigration and family law, children’s rights and community and workplace justice. Contact:  540 Broadway Street, New Orleans, LA 70118. (504) 861-5590, fax: (504) 861-5440. 

National Women’s Law Center - provides representation in a small number of civil cases but they also provide information, guidance and referrals for issues involving sex discrimination.  Submit a form online for assistance. 

Orleans Parish Public Defender - The Public Defender is assigned by the court to provide legal representation to indigent clients. See their website under ‘What We Do/Legal Resources’ for information such as qualifying for a public defender, bond information, social services and resources for immigrants who have been arrested. 

  • District Defender: Derwyn Bunton, 2601 Tulane Avenue, 7th Floor, New Orleans, 70119. (504) 821-8101, fax: (504) 821-5285.
  • Juvenile Regional Services: Executive Director: Josh Perry, 1820 St. Charles, Suite 205, New Orleans, LA 70130. (504) 207-4577, Juvenile Court: (504) 658-9586, fax: (504) 267-4789.

Pro Bono Project - provides lawyer referrals to resolve civil legal issues. Clients must meet federal income requirement poverty guidelines. Their website provides intake forms and alternate resources if you don’t meet the poverty guidelines. They also have community legal clinics but call to get a current schedule. Contact: 615 Baronne St., Suite 203, New Orleans, LA 70113. (504) 581-4043. Email: info@probono-no.org, or for intake form and questions: intake@probono-no.org.

Pro Bono Program Listings - is a list of free legal assistance centers in Louisiana. 

Self-Help Resource Centers - provide resources, referrals to free legal aid services and general questions from people without legal representation. Volunteers help with using the website www.LawHelp.org/LA, filling out court forms and accessing case information. Locations are listed below. 

  • 24th Judicial District Court, 200 Derbigny St., Gretna, LA 70053, 2nd floor suite 2100. Hours are Tue. and Thurs. 10:00-noon. (504) 364-3998.
  • Orleans Civil District Court, 421 Loyola Avenue, 4th floor room 401, New Orleans, LA 70130. Mon.- Fri. 9:00-noon and 1:00-3:00. (504) 407-0000, or (504) 407-0390.

Self-Representation Litigants, Louisiana State Bar Association - provides information to low-income individuals with civil legal issues. The website offers options for people seeking help or handling the case themselves, including a list of self-help centers by parish, lawyer referrals and legal aid services by parish. Also see resources under the 'Public Resources' tab for filing lawyer complaints and other services. 

Southeast Louisiana Legal Services - provides free legal aid for low-income people in 22 parishes across Southeast Louisiana. Outreach clinics, free legal resources and other offices are on their website.  See their website to apply for services or call their intake number from 9:00-1:00 daily, (504) 529-1000. 1010 Common Street, Annex Building, Suite 1400A, New Orleans, LA 70112. Call toll free: (877) 521-6242, or locally (504) 529-1000 or (504) 529-1008, fax: (504) 529-1009. 

Tulane Law Clinics - provides legal services for cases involving civil, criminal and juvenile litigation, domestic violence, environmental justice, and legislative and administrative advocacy at The Public Law Center serving indigent clients. See website for specific programs and their contact information.