1. What kind of cases do Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Legal Aid Service of Collier County (LASCC) handle?
Legal Aid Service of Broward County provides civil legal services to financially eligible clients in the following areas:
- Children’s Advocacy
- Low Income Tax Clinic
- Broward Human Rights Initiative
- Permanency Planning
- Success Project
- Education, Training and Support Services
Legal Aid Service of Collier County provides civil legal services to financially eligible clients in the following areas:
- Elderly/Senior (60+)
- Family Law
- Public Benefits
2. What is the difference between civil and criminal legal services?
Civil legal service organizations (legal aid) represent people in cases related to private rights and civil disputes, such as housing, consumer, family and entitlement to public benefits. Criminal legal service organizations (public defenders) represent people in cases that relate to crimes, such as theft.
3. How does LAS or LASCC determine if I am eligible for services?
Although there is no fee for any of LAS or LASCC’s services, you must qualify financially for many programs. Financial eligibility is based upon the income and assets of individuals in your household. In most cases, the income of your household cannot exceed 125% of the federal poverty level, although we make allowances for certain expenses, such as child care. In reviewing your assets, we do not generally count your home or your automobile. Legal aid intake workers will assist you in completing an application and determine your eligibility for services. If you are 60 years of age or older, there are no financial eligibility guidelines for our services. Eligibility for services is based upon other criteria, including whether your legal problem falls within our priority areas.
4. Is there a fee for obtaining legal services from legal aid?
There is no charge for the legal services rendered at LAS or LASCC though you must qualify financially for our services.
5. Do you handle child support enforcement cases?
Generally we do not handle child support enforcement cases. Please contact the County Child Support Enforcement Office for assistance.
6. What materials should I bring with me to Legal Aid?
Please call or review the information listed on this website under the particular area you need legal advice to determine what documents you need to bring with you when you come into the office.
7. Are there other options for me if a Legal Aid attorney cannot represent me?
Yes. Legal Aid has two Pro Bono Projects, Broward Lawyers Care and Collier Lawyers Care. Private lawyers in the community volunteer to accept cases within our program priorities. Applicants must still meet the same financial guidelines as Legal Aid’s in-house services. Referrals for pro bono services are made through the in-house Legal Aid programs.
If you are over-income, you may call the Broward County Bar Association’s Lawyer Referral Service at 954-764-8310. You will be referred to an attorney convenient to your home or office practicing in the area of law you need. This initial half hour consultation is $50.00. To obtain information on this service, go to www.browardbar.org and click on Lawyer Referral Service.
8. How are LAS and LASCC funded?
LAS is funded by federal, state and county grants, as well as other generous donations from a number of charitable foundations/organizations and private individuals. Funders include, but are not limited to:
- Board of County Commissioners of Broward County
- Broward County – Human Services Division
- Comprehensive AIDS Resource Emergency C.A.R.E. – Title I
- Broward County – Children’s Administration Division
- Children’s Service Council of Broward County
- The Florida Bar Foundation
- The Florida Guardian Ad Litem Program
- United States Federal Government – Internal Revenue Service
LASCC is funded by federal, state and county grants, as well as other generous donations from a number of charitable foundations/organizations and private individuals. Funders include, but are not limited to:
- Collier County Bar Association
- Collier County Catholic Charities
- Board of County Commissioners Collier County
- Florida Bar Foundation
- Sisters of the Sacred Heart
- Title 3B
- United Way of Collier County