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Free Legal Aid in Detroit

Last updated: September 27, 2013

If you’re from Detroit, you already know how to handle bad news and hard times—the housing crisis, decreasing population, the Detroit Lions, etc. With so many things that could go wrong, it’s tough to find peace of mind. Luckily Detroit has one of the best networks of free legal help in the country. So when life disrupts your rhythm and gives you too much blues, someone in Detroit has your back.

Legal assistance in Metro Detroit comes in a variety of forms. Some organizations provide direct representation which means that they’ll assign a lawyer to work on your case, either from start to finish, or for some portion. Other organizations will have you talk to a lawyer for hours or minutes free of charge. For all of you Tim Allen, do-it-yourself-types some organizations give you the tools (pun intended) to work on your case. 

Meet with a Lawyer

  • Legal Aid and Defender Association, Inc.

    613 Abbott Street
    MI 48226

    Tel: (313) 967-5555

    L.A.D.A. represents Metro Detroit clients with low and moderate income in civil cases throughout the Tri-County area.  The organization also accepts federal criminal cases in the Eastern District of Michigan.  Typical legal issues include:  foreclosures, evictions, public benefits, and debt collection defense. The Detroit office accepts walk-in clients on Mondays from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. only.  Call L.A.D.A. or visit the organization online for more details on its intake procedures.  L.A.D.A. meets clients in one of three offices:

    Client Service Center, Detroit and Wayne County
    1240 Third Street
    Detroit, MI 48226
    (877) 964-4700
    (313) 967-5800

    Client Service Center, Oakland County
    Oakland Towne Center
    28 North Saginaw Street
    Pontiac, MI 48342
    (248) 253-1548

    Macomb County:

    32 Market Street
    Mount Clemens, MI 48043
    (586) 465-1344

  • Neighborhood Legal Services Michigan

    7310 Woodward Avenue, Suite 701
    MI 48202

    Tel: (313) 964-1975

    N.L.S. offers a wide range of legal services. In some cases, payment would only be required if the client receives a favorable outcome. Typical client matters include: domestic violence, bankruptcy, elder abuse, Social Security, and H.I.V./A.I.D.S.-related legal issues.

  • Michigan Legal Services

    220 Bagley, Suite 900
    MI 48226

    Tel: (313) 964-4130

    Michigan Legal Services helps clients with property tax issues and issues related to homelessness. 

  • Detroit Legal Services/Social Security Justice

    Tel: (800) 715-2088

    Or contact SSJ online.

    S.S.J. offers direct representation and other services related to SSI and SSDI cases. 

  • Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit (“FHC”)

    220 Bagley, Suite 1020
    MI 48226

    Tel: (313) 963-1274

    FHC investigates clients’ complaints of housing discrimination. The organization will initiate begin negotiation and formal litigation on behalf of clients. FHC refers some discrimination cases to other attorneys, agencies, and resources. 

  • Community Legal Resources

    615 Griswold, Suite 1805
    MI 48226

    Tel: (313) 962-3171

    Community Legal Resources (“CLR”) is one of several programs operated by Michigan Community Resources. CLR provides free legal services to nonprofit organizations. The organization refers clients to volunteer attorneys. 

  • Detroit Center for Family Advocacy (“CFA”) (Main Office)

    3031 W. Grand Blvd., Suite 440
    MI 48202

    Tel: (313) 875-4233
  • Detroit Center for Family Advocacy (“CFA”) (Matrix Human Services Center)

    13560 East Nichols
    MI 48205

    Tel: (313) 875-4233

    CFA represents families with low incomes to help minimize the time that children must stay in foster care. 

Self-Help Centers and Information

  • Accounting Aid Society

    7700 Second Avenue, Suite 314
    MI 48202

    Tel: (313) 556-1920

    A.A.S. helps families and individuals with low or moderate income prepare their income taxes. 

  • Michigan Legal Help Self-Help Center of Wayne County

    2 Woodward Ave, Rm 1911
    MI 48266

    The center’s staff, or “navigators,” guide visitors towards legal resources and help them with legal forms. Navigators may not represent visitors or give legal advice. This Self-Help Center is also the site of free law clinics, including:

    The William Booth Legal Aid Clinic

    Attorneys help visitors prepare court motions if the visitors do not have an attorney. The clinic meets each month on the second Thursday between Noon and 2:00 P.M.


  • Michigan Legal Help Self-Help Center of Oakland County

    1200 N. Telegraph Rd., Bldg. 14 East
    MI 48341

    Tel: (248) 858-0012

    The center’s staff, or “navigators,” guide visitors towards legal resources and help them with legal forms. Navigators may not represent visitors or give legal advice. This Self-Help Center is also the site of several free law clinics, including:

    Common Ground Legal Aid Clinic

    Licensed attorneys are available Thursdays between 11:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M. to discuss any legal matter. The attorneys meet with visitors on a first come, first serve basis.

    University of Detroit Mercy School of Law Mobile Law Office

    Individuals with low incomes can meet with attorneys and law students two Tuesdays per month between 10:00 A.M. and 1:00 P.M.

    Family Law Assistance Project

    Participants may receive help with Personal Protection Orders and other family law issues. In order to participate, you must (1) have a low income, (2) not have an attorney, and (3) be a U.S. citizen or eligible non-citizen, and (4) have an issue occurring in Oakland County. Children are not allowed at the clinic.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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