The Online Resource for Massachusetts Poverty Law Advocates

How to Use the Legal Resource Finder

What is the Legal Resource Finder (LRF)?

The Legal Resource Finder will help you find out if there is a legal services program that can help you with your legal problem.  It will also give you links to information to learn more about your legal problem. The LRF only has information about civil - not criminal - issues.

How do I use the LRF?

  1. Box number one: enter the name of the city or town that you live in, or your zip code.

  2. Box number two: if you are age 60 or older, check "yes".

  3. Box number three: enter the number of people in your household.  Your household includes you, your spouse, and your children under age 18. If you live with other adults, include them if you are supporting them or if they are supporting you or your children.
     
    Also enter your approximate monthly income - before taxes. This includes money you earn as well as money from a benefits program such as TAFDC. You do not need to include SNAP/ Food Stamps.
     
    Important: If you are referred to a legal services program for possible help, the program will ask for your financial information again.  Depending on the program, who is included in your household, and what income is included, might be different than the LRF.

  4. Box number four: click on the issue area that most closely matches your problem from the list.  This will open up a new list of more specific issues and problems.  Again, click on the issue or problem that most closely matches your situation.  Keep clicking until the "Search" box appears at the bottom of the screen, then click "Search."  If you want to go back to an earlier list, click the orange "Go Back" button -- do not use the "Back" buttons on your browser.

  5. Once you have clicked the "Search" button, you will see a "Results" page.  You can print or email this page.

  6. If you have more than one issue that you want help with, use the "search again" link to start a new search.

What is the Results Page?

The Results page has two different kinds of information.

  1. Programs
    The top section of the Results page has contact information for programs that might be able to help.  Contact these programs directly by telephone, email or by using the online intake link.  Because of high demand, these programs are not able to help everyone who contacts them.  You will need to give them more detailed information about where you live, your income and your legal problem for the program to decide if they can help.  They may ask other types of questions as well. 

  2. Additional Resources
    The bottom section of the Results page has links to websites with legal information about your issue.  Sometimes, these links will include forms and other materials that you can fill out to take steps to solve your legal problem without representation. Although we do our best to review these links, we are not responsible for the content that is on these other websites.

What Kinds of Programs Are In the LRF?

The LRF includes legal services programs and non-profits that help low and moderate income people with civil (not criminal) legal problems. Most of these programs will not charge you anything if they take your case. Some programs charge a low fixed fee for certain types of issues.

The LRF only includes programs that help people who live in Massachusetts or have a legal issue that took place in Massachusetts. Do not use the LRF if you live in another state and your issue does not involve something that happened in Massachusetts. 

The LRF also includes links to Bar Association Lawyer Referral Services.  These services will refer you to a lawyer who may take your case.  Usually, you will need to pay the lawyer if he or she takes your case. You will work the amount out with the lawyer beforehand. We do not have names of individual lawyers in the LRF.


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