Types of Legal Aid Cases

nwls types of cases lawyer with clients at desk

Below is a list of legal aid cases handled by Northwestern Legal Services and our private attorney (pro bono) partners.  Some of these types of legal cases are limited to advice-only representation, while others are offered direct representation or a clinic method of service.  

To determine what level of service we may be able to provide, contact our Intake Unit at 1-800-665-6957 or apply online.   Representation in all cases is dependent on financial and asset eligibility for free legal help, the merit of the case, and conflict of interest rules.  Service is also dependent on funding, staffing or other issues in local offices or program-wide. We also do not provide representation for cases filed in a court outside the Northwestern Legal Services service area.

Every five years, NWLS surveys a pool of past clients, organizations, attorneys, and judges in our 10-county service area on their opinion of what types of cases are needed most of our services.  After assessing the collected information and input from the community, we've restructured our priority areas of representation to those listed below.

  1. EDUCATION & EMPLOYMENT such as school enrollment, suspensions, and expulsions, expungement of criminal records, etc. 
  2. HEALTH LAW ISSUES Medicare, bill collection, nursing home issues, advance directives/living, health care wills, power of attorney, etc. 
  3. FAMILY LAW such as custody and visitation matters, contempt, some no-fault divorce, PFA, child support for petitioners, etc.
  4. HOUSING LAW landlord issues including evictions, lockouts, seizure of property, security deposits, public housing, subsidized housing and section 8 matters, mortgage foreclosure, etc.
  5. PUBLIC BENEFITS such as cash assistance, subsidized child care, SNAP, WIC, LIHEAP, medical assistance, etc.
  6. SOCIAL SECURITY such as SSI denial, termination, and overpayment, Social Security disability terminations and overpayments, as well as other miscellaneous social security issues.
  7. UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION including denial, termination, and overpayment of UC benefits.  
  8. CONSUMER LAW including debt collection, creditor harassment, some bankruptcy, and utility termination
  9. OTHER AREAS OF REPRESENTATION including suspension of driving privileges, wills, and power of attorney.

Eligibility Guidelines

Apply for Legal Help Now
You can start an application for legal help from Northwestern Legal Services by answering some questions.
However, you will not be a client of Northwestern Legal Services unless we contact you and tell you that your case is accepted.