Epilepsy Talk

FREE Legal Resources | September 19, 2010

I think that pro bono legal aid is perhaps more difficult to find than almost anything else in this country, except perhaps, FREE medical care.  But here are six resources where you can find FREE legal aid and assistance.

It’s tricky, because each state has its own laws.  But these organizations can help guide you to the resources available in your area.  (The other option is to Google your local Legal Aid office.)

Epilepsy Foundation Attorney Resources — The Jeanne A. Carpenter Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund coordinates and supports a network of attorneys who have agreed to provide services, pro bono, for a set number of hours, and to consider, if appropriate, representing the individual on a pro bono, sliding scale or contingency fee basis.  In addition, they access to a national database of legal and scientific articles about epilepsy and related legal issues.  http://www.epilepsyfoundation.org/epilepsylegal/attyresources.cfm

American Bar Association (ABA) — Although the ABA cannot help you directly, there are many people out there who can. This site will guide you to a list of resources in your state. Most legal issues are regulated by the law in the state where you live, or where the problem occurred.  Simply click on a state (or Canada) to find free legal help in that state.  http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/home.cfm?gnav=global_publicresources_findlegalhelp   And for an explanation of how finding free services works, go to: http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/findlegalhelp/faq_freehelp.cfm#probono

LawHelp – “is your gateway to America’s nonprofit legal aid providers.”  They help low and moderate income people find free legal aid programs in their communities, and answers to questions about their legal rights.  For free legal aid referrals and information, choose your state and click on it.  http://www.lawhelp.org/

Legal Services Corporation (LSC) — is the single largest provider of civil legal aid for the poor in the nation.  LSC distributes more than 95 percent of its total funding to 136 independent nonprofit legal aid programs with more than 900 offices that provide legal assistance to low-income individuals and families throughout the nationhttp://www.lsc.gov/about/factsheet_whatislsc.php#backtotop   For a map of where LSC services are available, click on http://www.lsc.gov/map/index.php

The National Center for Law and Economic Justice recruits major law firms to act as pro bono co-counsel. They ask civil rights, civil liberties, women’s rights, disability rights, and immigrants’ rights organizations and other legal advocacy organizations, to co-counsel with them.  http://www.nclej.org/about.php

Lawyers.com — provides inexpensive pro bono legal help with programs manned by local attorneys who’ve agreed to provide free legal representation to those who qualify, either because of income or circumstances.  Programs are also available for people who earn too much to qualify for legal services or pro bono programs, but don’t make enough to hire an attorney at traditional rates.  http://research.lawyers.com/When-You-Cant-Afford-a-Lawyer.html


  1. Phylis, what does the term pro bono mean? I have never heard of it before.

    You can also go to Social Security and ask for legal help. They have given me the names and addresses of attorneys who give legal help for those who cannot find it.

    There are also a lot of attorneys who will take your case and get paid after the case has been won.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — September 26, 2010 @ 4:38 PM

  2. “Pro bono” means for free.

    The social security idea is brillant!


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 26, 2010 @ 10:54 PM

    • wished i would of known this , 20+ yrs ago .. went after i had cancer , couldnt lift , more than 3 lbs , then SSI /D , had to put me on disability .. what gets me , sure they take the drs notes , but its the drs { internist } they have at SSI , , they tell you to do certain things eg:” bend over touch your toes , walk from here to there .. if you do that , you are fine to work “..found that , out from a friend , where they wrote on her health papers to the board of SSI ….


      Comment by cathy — February 24, 2015 @ 5:54 PM

  3. Thank you for clearing it up for me.

    When I applied for SSI many years ago, they gave me a list of free attorneys that would help me out.


    Comment by Ruth Brown — September 27, 2010 @ 2:30 PM

    • You must have have SOME PULL! Or else they like you very much. I don’t know if they would do that today!


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — September 27, 2010 @ 6:45 PM

  4. Another Good Source: If you live in a town/city w/ a Law College, Students must earn ‘credits’ for their courses, by doing pro bono work.

    Love Candi


    Comment by Candi — October 10, 2010 @ 1:40 AM

  5. Since there are no posted replies since 2010 please let me be the 1st in February 2015.


    Comment by John Shilby — February 21, 2015 @ 4:32 PM

  6. LOL! Got any resources up your sleeve, John? 🙂


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 21, 2015 @ 5:30 PM

  7. My name is Michele, I suggest you fill out the forms for SSI and disability for yourself.Reminder, you often make you fill out the forms 3 times in a row, so signand date the first forms and put it in the mail, and start filing the next set the next day. Unless you are in a coma or retarded or totally limited to your bed, they WILL make you wait for the third dismissal. The law firms will bilk every last dime out of you, even down to making you pay for their “costs” which means, in some cases, that they bill you for minutes they were thinking about your case while using the toilet. I swear. I used to be a lawyer, but not that kind. And not criminal defense.


    Comment by meesher — May 17, 2015 @ 10:18 PM

  8. […] NOTE: FOR INFORMATION ABOUT FREE LEGAL RESOURCES, CLICK ON: https://epilepsytalk.com/2010/09/19/free-legal-resources/ […]


    Pingback by Epilepsy, Employment and the Law | Epilepsy Talk — May 30, 2015 @ 12:10 PM

  9. Please I live in Georgia n they denied all benifits I only get stamps n I’m epileptic I need a doctor but I have no job not enough money


    Comment by Karla mendiola — July 15, 2015 @ 6:27 PM

  10. Can you try to get care through the ER? Often they don’t turn people away.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — July 16, 2015 @ 10:53 AM

  11. I have seizures due to a rare medical condition. The epilepsy society had helped me in the past. The person handling my case changed. This new rep said she had information saying my seizures were unnecessary. I had to go out on disability and I never received any support from epilepsy society.
    I would like some help
    Thank you
    Ed Sers

    Telephone 845-656-0175


    Comment by Ed Sers — February 29, 2016 @ 12:25 PM

  12. I would suggest you find a disability lawyer who is acquainted with seizures.

    Hopefully the Epilepsy Foundation in your area can at least provide you with that.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — February 29, 2016 @ 1:06 PM

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    About the author

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    Phylis Feiner Johnson

    I've been a professional copywriter for over 35 years. I also had epilepsy for decades. My mission is advocacy; to increase education, awareness and funding for epilepsy research. Together, we can make a huge difference. If not changing the world, at least helping each other, with wisdom, compassion and sharing.

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