Below is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our constituents. If you can't find the question you are looking for, don’t hesitate to contact us.
Legal Aid of Arkansas is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization that provides free legal services to low-income Arkansans in civil (non-criminal) cases. Legal Aid is headquartered in Jonesboro, and serves 31 of the 75 counties in Arkansas.
Legal Aid of Arkansas service areas include the following counties:
Baxter, Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clay, Cleburne, Craighead, Crittenden, Cross, Fulton, Greene, Independence, Izard, Jackson, Lawrence, Lee, Madison, Marion, Mississippi, Monroe, Newton, Phillips, Poinsett, Randolph, St. Francis, Searcy, Sharp, Stone, Van Buren, Washington, Woodruff
If you do not live in one of these counties, you may need to contact the Center for Arkansas Legal Services (CALS).
What is the difference between Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services (CALS)?
Legal Aid and CALS are both free legal aid organizations in Arkansas that provide civil legal assistance for low-income Arkansans. However, the two entities have different service areas. If you do not live in one of the counties served by Legal Aid, you should contact CALS for assistance.
Legal Aid and CALS assist thousands of clients every year in priority areas, such as family law, consumer issues, bankruptcy or evictions. Assistance is available in every county in Arkansas. Learn how to apply for free legal help here by calling the statewide helpline.
Due to the limited resources available to Legal Aid, we can only accept cases that fall under our established priorities, and only from clients who meet eligibility requirements.
The Legal Aid of Arkansas helpline professionals will try to take your call right away. If all helpline professionals are busy, someone will call you back. Please have a call back number ready when you call. You will be asked about your income and assets. Legal Aid of Arkansas can only help people with income and assets within certain guidelines. Next, your helpline professional will ask you to describe your problem or question in detail. He or she may ask you questions to gain a better understanding of your situation.
Legal Aid will then decide how best to assist you. Depending on your unique situation, here’s what you might expect:
-Legal advice over the telephone
-More detailed information sent to you by mail
-Brief service (e.g., filing a form)
-Referral to a staff or volunteer attorney for legal representation.
-Referrals to other services
Legal Aid of Arkansas cannot help with criminal problems, including traffic tickets. Below you will find examples of civil legal problems. Fee-generating cases, such personal injury cases are not accepted. If you are unsure, call us anyway.
Legal Aid of Arkansas has established a maximum income level for different family sizes. The maximum income level is 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines (shown in the chart on our Eligibility Guidelines page). These numbers are the maximum levels. If certain factors are present, legal aid can waive up to 200% in unusual or meritorious circumstances. Call our helpline to see if you qualify for free legal help.
For more information, visit our Eligibility Guidelines page under What We Do.
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 Legal Aid of Arkansas! You can also apply online under Contact Us.
1-800-9 LAW AID (1-800-952-9243)
Craighead County Residents call: (870) 972-6411
Washington County Residents call: (479) 442-4204
Mon-Thurs 9-11AM & 1-3PM
Tuesday evenings 5:15-7:15PM
The Legal Aid of Arkansas helpline professionals will try to take your call right away. If all helpline professionals are busy, someone will call you back. Please have a call back number ready when you call.
No. Most callers receive legal advice over the telephone, but we are unable to represent every person who calls because of our limited staff and resources. Many callers are referred to another agency if their legal issue does not fall within our case acceptance priorities.
Legal Aid does not have the resources necessary to take every case. Because resources are so limited, Legal Aid has established financial need requirements and case acceptance priorities to help determine which cases to take. Each case is considered individually, with attention given to the facts and circumstances of each case. Unfortunately, Legal Aid has to make some difficult decisions about the thousands of applications for assistance it receives each year. These hard choices enable Legal Aid to provide services to those who need it most.
For more information about our Case Acceptance Priorities, click the on question to be taken to our Workgroups page.
If Legal Aid is unable to accept your case, we will attempt to refer you to another agency that can provide legal assistance. We may also inform you of certain self-help resources.
You will not be charged for our legal services. However, because of our limited resources, you may need to pay other costs associated with your case such as filing fees, deposition fees, transcript fees, or other court costs. Please apply even if you think you can’t afford it.
Legal Aid of Arkansas has developed four substantive workgroups, each of which focuses on one substantive area of law. The workgroups are responsible for providing legal representation in their areas, as well as developing case acceptance priorities and deciding which cases to accept. The workgroups also engage in training, education, community outreach, and community partnerships.
The substantive workgroups are:
-Protection from Domestic Violence
Unfortunately, Legal Aid of Arkansas doesn’t have the resources to take every case. To help staff decide which cases to accept, Legal Aid has established guidelines for determining the need and urgency of each case. These guidelines are called Case Acceptance Priorities. There is information on our website about each workgroup’s case acceptance priorities, and the case acceptance priorities for the Medical-Legal Partnerships.
Interested in pro-bono work? Legal Aid of Arkansas offers a variety of volunteer opportunities for attorneys, paralegals, law students, and others.
Want to donate? Legal Aid never charges for its services. Your donation means we get to help more families.
For more information on how to get involved, click on the question to be taken to our How to Help page.