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What kind of cases do legal aid programs handle?

Legal Aid programs, like ABLE and LAWO, serve low-income residents with cases including but not limited to: Housing, including tenants. rights and home ownership; Family law, including domestic violence, divorce, and rights of parents and children; Social Security and public benefits; Consumer law, including bankruptcy and fair debt collection; Elder law, including discrimination, healthcare and wills; Wages and benefits, welfare, and safety of immigrant workers. In addition each program has specialized programs and projects.


Who is eligible for legal aid services provided by LAWO and ABLE?

Generally, individuals or groups of individuals living in the 32 counties of western Ohio and who meet income requirements based on federal poverty guidelines and other special factors are eligible for the civil legal aid services provided by ABLE and LAWO. Our Migrant Farmworker Programs serve all 88 Ohio counties.


How can I find out if I need a lawyer?

>> Contact Legal Aid Line by phone:

New inquiries from Lucas County can call (419) 724-0460. Those living outside of Lucas County (residents of Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot Counties) should call toll free at (888) 534-1432. Eligible individuals will receive free legal assistance or a referral.

>> Contact Legal Aid Line through this website:

Apply for help online (o en espaƱol, solicite ayuda) by completing and submitting our intake form.

If you do not live in our service area, do not have a case which must be resolved in one of these counties, or are not a migrant farmworker or detained immigrant in Ohio, then Legal Aid Line probably cannot assist you. To find legal services programs which serve Ohio counties other than the ones listed above, you call toll-free 1-866-LAW-OHIO or click here.


What's the difference between Civil and Criminal legal services?

Civil legal service organizations (Legal Aid) represent people in cases related to private rights - such as fair housing, domestic relations and social security benefits. Criminal legal service organizations (public defenders) represent people in cases that relate to offenses against public law, such as theft or fraud.


What is the difference between a Legal Aid program and the public defender program?

Legal aid programs provide services in civil, or private rights, cases while a public defender program provides defense counsel in criminal matters.


What if a Legal Aid program will not help me?

If you do not qualify for help from a legal aid program, or legal aid cannot represent you, they may still be able to refer you to a competent private attorney.


How do I find out more about Legal Aid programs?

Continue to browse this website, including the Get Legal Help or Get Information sections, or you can contact or stop by one of the legal aid offices in your area.