A Guide To Legal Assistance
In The Phoenix Metro
It Is Not Necessarily True That Money Is The Only Thing That Can Buy Justice — Now There Is Guide To Help Those With Few Funds Help Themselves
By Charlie Parke
Special for Modern Times Magazine
If you can’t find an answer thru your own research who can you turn to for help. A lawyer is often the best answer but not always available due to finances. Many sources of free and low cost help are offered around Arizona.
Low Cost and Free Legal Options
The Attorney General’s office provides access to information on consumer fraud, civil/victims’ rights and many issues that may affect your daily life. A civil rights division of the Arizona Attorney General's Office specializes in discrimination encountered through employment, public accommodation, housing, voting and disability. The Attorney General satellite office at ASU’s College of Law has volunteers who can distribute educational materials and assist individuals with filing complaints or giving referrals for assistance in civil rights matters like fair housing, public accommodation, voting, employment and disability. Reach a volunteer by calling 480-965-0564. They also offer informational materials, help with complaints, and referrals to deal with fraud and other abuses such as identity theft, predatory lending, buying new and used cars, telemarketing scams and mail fraud. Arizona Attorney General Crime & Fraud Prevention has forms on its website (and the ability to request them mailed to you) to file complaints about being the victim of a business scam like fraud.
AzLawHelp.org may be a basic place to start a search for resources. They have a database of organizations providing legal help and information to Arizonans.
Arizona Community Legal Services has a volunteer lawyer program. They deal with civil cases and will not provide help with criminal cases or personal injury cases. Help will only be provided to those who incomes are at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty guideline.
The Maricopa Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service. While it is not a free service it has the ability to get you in touch with experienced attorneys fairly quickly. The service can help you decide if you have a case to pursue. Dealing with both civil and criminal cases this will cost you $40 for a half hour consultation.
The Better Business Bureau is well known for helping to resolve problems between consumers and businesses without a court battle. The Better Business Bureau has resolved many complaints and if the complaint is not resolved due to a business failing to respond or offering any recourse to a problem on their end, the Bureau publishes this information along with a letter grade of how businesses have interacted with customers.
Age And Race Issues
For those dealing with issues related to their age or race, specialized groups may be able to help. The Juvenile Lawyers Assistance Project helps find volunteer lawyers and works with the ASU Law School to provide 50-minute consultations with a volunteer attorney and law student. 602-506-5903.
Another resource can be the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People who sometimes have volunteer attorneys available for consultation or provide legal referrals. Sometimes, the NAACP will also take on criminal cases, but are best known for civil rights.
East Valley Senior Services provides assistance with fraud prevention, benefits, wills and legal issues to seniors. The ABA Law and Aging Guide provides a directory of state-wide resources for older persons in dealing with legal matters. The Area Agency on Aging provides information, assistance and legal referrals to those dealing with mostly age related disabilities. Law for seniors provides a collection of resources and information to seniors online at. Arizona Senior Citizens Law Project provides legal advice for Maricopa County residents age 60 and older including referrals to private attorneys by calling 602-252-6710.
Legal Assistance For The Disabled
Legal situations facing the disabled are another area with specialized resources. The Arizona Center for Disability Law provides legal services for many with physical, mental, psychiatric, sensory, and cognitive disabilities. The Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing, helps Americans deal with deaf rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Those with other disabilities may want to try The Arizona Office for Americans with Disabilities which helps provide information on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Those wounded in military service may find help from a group called Arizona Disabled American Veterans who provide help to veterans and their dependents acquire federal and state benefits.
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