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Services and Eligibility

Legal Aid provides free legal services in civil matters.

Legal Aid provides legal advice and representation in a broad range of areas including consumer cases, family matters, housing problems, government benefits such as SSI, Food Stamps and Medicaid, and other "non-fee-generating" cases.

"Fee-generating cases" are ones that a private attorney will handle with the agreement that the fee will be paid if the attorney gets a Judgment or settlement for  money damages.  Legal Aid does not handle this type of case.

Legal Aid does not charge attorney fees to eligible clients.  Clients may be asked to pay some court costs or out-of-pocket expenses.

Legal Aid does not handle criminal matters.  If you are low income and are charged with a crime, contact the Court to ask for appointed counsel.

For more about the types of cases we handle and other information about our services, see the Frequently Asked Questions

Who is eligible?

People eligible for free legal services at Legal Aid of Western Michigan are Low Income persons and Seniors (persons 60 years of age and older). 

Eligibility for Low Income persons depends on family size, household income and assets available to the household.  Before a person can talk with an attorney, LAWM will ask for this information and determine eligibility according to our program policies and the requirements of our funding sources.

Services are targeted for persons who are at or slightly over the Federal poverty levels.  Families who receive government benefits or work at lower wage jobs are most likely to be eligible for services,

Eligibility for Seniors is not limited based on income or assets.

Services are targeted at the most economically disadvantaged and socially isolated; in particular, services for Seniors are intended to help them maintain independence in their own homes if possible.

Eligibility for certain non-citizens and incarcerated persons is also restricted by our funders.


Legal Aid of Western Michigan provides services to eligible clients based on the factors above and not on the basis of Race, sex, religion, or national origin.


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