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Important: Even if courts are closed, you can still file for a protection order and other emergency relief. See our FAQ on Courts and COVID-19.
Places that Help: Federal
Lawyer Referral/Legal Information
Updated: October 18, 2018
WomensLaw cannot vouch for the information or services provided by these organizations.
*CALIFORNIA ONLY* Family Violence Appellate Project ("FVAP")
FVAP appeals California family law, civil, guardianship, and Hague Convention cases on behalf of survivors of domestic violence. They prioritize cases in which children are placed in dangerous situations by court orders regarding custody or unsupervised visitation. They will work with survivors of abuse who are either appellants or respondents and where the survivor does not have the funds to hire an appellate attorney. Please note that the order to be appealed must be less than 60 days old and they do not handle criminal or juvenile dependency cases.
*NEW YORK ONLY* LGBT Bar Association of Greater New York (LeGaL)
LeGaL sponsors a lawyer referral service directing clients to private attorneys in NYC who are sensitive to LGBT issues. They also offer several pro bono legal clinics devoted to serving the LGBTQ community.
*NEW YORK ONLY* NYLAG’s Domestic Violence Appellate Representation Project
New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) has a Domestic Violence Appellate Representation Project, which specializes in family law appeals on behalf of domestic violence victims and their children in NYC. Please note that NYLAG prefers referrals through a legal or social service agency.
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC)
Catholic Legal Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC) is a directory of immigration legal services organizations (by state). CLINIC’s mission is to enhance and expand delivery of legal services to indigent and low-income immigrants principally through diocesan immigration programs and to meet the immigration needs identified by the Catholic Church in the United States. CLINIC and its member agencies represent low-income immigrants without reference to their race, religion, gender, ethnic group, or other distinguishing characteristics.
Church World Service
Church World Service provides low-fee legal services to immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers at 21 local offices throughout the U.S. You can find an office in your area by clicking here.
Domestic Violence Legal Empowerment and Appeals Project (DV LEAP)
DV LEAP represents domestic violence survivors from any state in selected cases requiring an appeal or to defend against an appeal. They consider all kinds of DV-related appeals, including civil protection order issues, family law (custody, divorce, property, etc.) Hague Convention issues, and criminal issues (e.g., self-defense, admissibility of expert testimony, etc.). They sometimes provide friend-of-the-court (amicus) briefs in appeals if the party already has a lawyer. To request help, click here.
iLawyer is a national network of non-profit Lawyer Referral Services operated by local Bar Associations - all meeting American Bar Association (ABA) standards. This service serves residents of California, Colorado, Connecticut, New York, and Washington state. An affordable 30-minute consultation is included with every referral. (WomensLaw.org has no relationship with this company and does not know whether their information or services are good or helpful. We provide this link for your information.)
Legal Momentum takes a select number of cases per year, including cases regarding Title IX and also provides referrals to victims. Victims must fill out a legal assistance form found here. Legal Momentum also provides information about immigration and support to lawyers representing battered women in immigration cases.
Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women
The Legal Resource Center on Violence Against Women (LRCVAW) helps advocates and lawyers with issues of interstate custody where domestic violence is involved. The LRC can also try to assist survivors of domestic violence to find legal representation for interstate custody cases. They do not help with international custody cases.
National Crime Victim Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Line: 800-FYI-CALL
The National Crime Victim Bar Association offers information and lawyer referrals to crime victims seeking to sue offenders and responsible third-parties.
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyers Guild
The National Immigration Project provides help on various immigration issues, including criminal and deportation defense, fighting immigration enforcement, protecting victims of crimes and defending political rights. For information for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, click here.
This national, public interest law firm offers cutting-edge legal briefs and news on public interest issues, including civil rights, elder law, reproductive freedom, violence prevention, and women’s rights. This is the only site on the Internet where you can find complete contact information for all legal aid, legal services, and poverty law offices in the U.S.
The National Center for Victims of Crime
1-855-4-VICTIM (1-855-484-2846)(phone and text helpline)
The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing information, resources and advocacy for victims of all types of crime, as well as the people who serve them. The staff oversees a variety of programs including, but not limited to: the Financial Crime Resource Center, the National Compassion Fund, the VictimConnect Resource Center and the DC Victim Hotline.
Vera Institute of Justice
Vera plans and demonstrates solutions often building nonprofit organizations from successful demonstrations studies social problems and current responses, and provides the advice and assistance leaders need to change their own systems. Vera addresses the issue of domestic violence through its Consulting Nationally project.
The National Center for Victims of Crime, with support from the Office for Victims of Crime, have just opened VictimLaw, an on-line database of over 15,000 victims’ rights laws. This is a resource for legal information that can be accessed by topic, terms, contents and citations.
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