FREE LEGAL HELP IN ARKANSAS
If you need help with a legal problem, have a question you think a lawyer should answer, or have been sued and don't know where to turn, CALL HELPLINE! Toll Free: 1-800-9 LAW AID (1-800-952-9243). Click here for hours of operation, income guidelines and to learn more about the HELPLINE.
ABOUT FREE LEGAL SERVICES IN ARKANSAS
There are two nonprofit Legal Services Programs in Arkansas that work together to provide free civil legal assistance to low-income residents in all 75 counties of the state.
Eligibility is based on federal poverty guidelines, however, because of high demand and limited resources, the programs must set priorities for case acceptance. Some typical situations they help with are: emergency family matters including divorces involving spousal abuse; housing; adoptions and guardianships; debt problems; garnishments; bankruptcies and repossessions; public benefits - SSI, Social Security Disability, food stamps, and Medicaid; and legal problems of the elderly.
The Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas are 501(c)3 nonprofit organizations that provide free legal services to low-income Arkansans in non-criminal cases, ranging from family to consumer and housing to individual rights cases. The Center serves 44 counties while LAA serves 31 counties. There vision is to improve the lives of low-income Arkansans by championing equal access to justice for all regardless of economic or social circumstances.
How They Help and What They Do
Together, the two programs provided help to almost 15,000 Arkansans this past year. The overwhelming majority of the cases were involved in supporting families and protecting children. Domestic violence, divorce and the wellbeing of children dominate the Family case load data. (View Free Family Law Legal Resources)
Consumer cases represented the second highest number of clients helped by legal aid. These issues related to bankruptcy, collections, garnishments and deceptive sales practices. In a time of worsening economic conditions protecting the poor from predatory situations helps build some stability for individuals and families which are already living on the edge. (View Free Consumer Law Legal Resources)
Housing and health cases were third in the number of clients helped by legal aid in 2007. The predominate type of cases reflected in this category, not surprising given the crash of the housing market, were landlord/tenant and home ownership issues. The ability to secure families in their homes provides stability and reduces costs for public agencies in tending to issues of the homeless. (View Free Housing and Health Law Legal Resources)
One of the most important categories of cases taken by legal aid is Income Maintenance. Most such cases involve maintaining or securing income for poor Arkansans through federal monies from Social Security and SSI. All cases in this category provided a lump sum of $682,135 for clients and their families. In addition, the monthly payments secured for clients amounted to $644,628 on an annual basis. Legal aid improved or stabilized the income of families by securing $1,327,800 for our clients. This federal money entered the Arkansas economy directly increasing the wealth of the state. (View Free Family Law Legal Resources)
Learn more about the Center for Arkansas Legal Services and Legal Aid of Arkansas by reading the joint annual reports below.
Arkansas Legal Services Annual Report 2005 (3.5 MB) PDF
Arkansas Legal Services Annual Report 2006 (9.5 MB) PDF
Arkansas Legal Services Annual Report 2007 (156 K) PDF text only
Arkansas Access to Justice Commission Annual Report 2007 (1 MB) PDF
Client Success Stories
Legal Aid Funding in Arkansas
Also view “Why it Matters in Arkansas”
|Equal justice under law is not just a caption on the facade of the Supreme Court building. It is perhaps the most inspiring ideal of our society . . . It is fundamental that justice should be the same, in substance and availability, without regard to economic status. Justice Lewis Powell, Jr. - U.S. Supreme Court