Epilepsy Talk

FREE Legal Resources | March 27, 2019

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 have access to a national database of legal and scientific articles about epilepsy and related legal issues. https://www.epilepsy.com/living-epilepsy/legal-help

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 

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 nation.   http://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. https://nclej.org/

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. Why is it so hard to find legal help? I had brain surgery last year and had a RNS neuropace stimulator implanted in my brain to help stop my seizures. Well now I get NO AURAS OR WARNINGS OF SEIZURES COMING ON. I used to get a aura or warning to let me know of seizures happening. Now I get nothing. I am getting a 2nd opinion from another neurologist because I am having more seizures now and now they just happen without any auras or warnings. I feel I have a case here.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Donnita Sharp — March 27, 2019 @ 12:41 PM

    • I think the neurologist can advise you whether you have a case or not.

      He knows best. And I think you should ask his opinion.

      Good luck.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 27, 2019 @ 2:16 PM

  2. This is not a direct reply to the issue, but it relates when you try to get help from an employee agency like DDRS of Disability Dept Rehab Services. Seems like no attorney will care to fight for a person who 1-wants to get work, 2- would like to be trained, & 3- get a good job once trained, but the DDRS in many states, especially WV does not have any real good ethics about them where it relates to a person who have a seizure condition of GRAND MAL seizures, They do anything to make it hard for you to stay in their totally uncaring concerns, that the person with seizures, MAY KNOW BETTER what job would be safe for them to do, but you better do that job anyway, even if it is less than 10 hours a week & maybe 6 days a week working those 10 hours. THAT is how DDRS works, & nobody seems to care to do anything about that, as about 8 months ago, I called a WV DDRS office. I asked if any changes had been made to help people with seizures to get some real training & of course NO was that answer. Lawyers seems to be scared to work for us more than those who are to help us to get work. We are not part of the other human disabled I guess, because we are more of a LIABILITY. Those peoples day is coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by C D — March 27, 2019 @ 3:53 PM

  3. Well C D, if they do’t make the money, we ARE a “liability”.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 27, 2019 @ 3:55 PM

    • It’s not that we can’t make some employer money. It’s the fact that the people at the DDRS have no idea what any person life who lives with seizures is about, & they are ignorant & arrogant to the point that they do not care to understand just WHAT the person with epilepsy is wanting to achieve, but they do not care to listen. EXAMPLE,,, The WV DDRS tells me to go to the VIRGINIA DDRS & there were MORE jobs & work there. Oh Really ? Guess they knew not the dangers of driving a long 1 hour to work 1 WAY when you are concerned as to WHY you want local work.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by C D — March 27, 2019 @ 4:08 PM

  4. That is 1 reason why I do not want the RNS. All of the neurology world believes that our brains are their property & we are their guinea pigs to practice with. So when a lawyer say WE CAN WIN, I would have to ask HOW do I win if seizures are worse than ever ? THAT ALONE should put any neurologists with out of their medical licsence to see any of us. Then they could practice on themselves or their family & friends as we are none of that to them.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by C D — March 27, 2019 @ 4:00 PM

    • What you say is called a HAND OFF,, I call it scam to do anything to everything to make any person who has seizures, frustrated & stressed out so they walk away from being part of the DDRS state institutes. They will all make our medical condition, a MENTAL condition because they lack the education in knowing how to deal with a person who have a few or many seizures. They lack any program to protect the person who has the seizures, as I see where the ADA never came to my rescue when i was trying to work along with DDRS. And when I did get fired from a job, because I wanted to go to JHU in Balt Md., I had the insurance & I told my employer 2 weeks before my 2 years anniversary well 2 weeks later I get fired, because i said i would not quit, when i was given the choice. Suddenly it was because I was not doing my job right. So why was I given a chance to quit ? as I asked HOW LONG was my quality of work been bad in 2 years ? No answer but lies from that question, as I contacted the ADA, & the EEOC who both did nothing then for me, knowing I wanted to go to JHU for more medical tests for my conditions they may had found for me. It’s all scams & politics when a person has seizures / epilepsy, especially with EFA & CURE, who do no more for people with seizures than the DDRS & ADA.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by C D — March 28, 2019 @ 8:50 AM

  5. I disagree with you about the RNS.

    Responsive Neurostimulation (RNS) Shown to Reduce “Untreatable” Seizures



    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 27, 2019 @ 4:13 PM

  6. What if you’re epilepsy makes you a target in a larger grand jury or police investigation with a gag order in place? You can’t get legal help from anyone, not even those you have listed in your column, which allows the law enforcement and human services “professionals” to operate without consequences for their actions.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by Susan — March 28, 2019 @ 6:38 AM

    • Right, as it’s like we are to have less rights than anyone else, when we are discriminated against in employment or from anyone else, who may have a little or a lot of power of authority. There is one who nobody will have power over, just reverse will happen. They will reap what the sow & reap more than they sow. Gal 6:7-10

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by C D — March 28, 2019 @ 8:33 AM

      • Who’s at Fault?



        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 28, 2019 @ 10:53 AM

      • I can attest & relate to your statements that the “authorities of the day” got more power on our fate than our rights to live, just like ordinary citizens entitled for “life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness”, proclaimed & preserved in the constitution.
        And submissive society bent to serve the status of the establishments has only made it harder to question the integrity of the unjustified maltreatment of social injustice & Machiavellian authorities.
        But, helplessly knocked out to the ground losing your mind to/by seizures & hoping for rescue in the hands of the authorized establishments LICENSED to care for society, certainly makes the victims of epilepsy expendable hostages in the hands of the “authorities, rescue crew & medical experts”.
        For most of my life, I was NOT familiar with the experience nor did I had deep understanding of the concept of “discrimination”.
        Thanks to Epilepsy, because of my seizures I got banned from the public library & grocery super market I’ve been accustomed to going for over 30 years & got arrested, handcuffed to ambulance & hospital bed, until my good friend rushed to the hospital & directly warned the ER Doctor for “Medical Malpractice”, setting me free to go home.
        I know I’ve legitimate case, records, files & witnesses to hold the “authorities” responsible for unjustified “discrimination” & maltreatment to my medical hardships, but I’m desperately trying to stabilize my seizures before adding more stressful war & judicial roller-coaster fighting against the establishments.
        Therefore, I’m NOT interested in litigations, adding more stressful nightmares to my seizures.

        Liked by 1 person

        Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — March 28, 2019 @ 3:32 PM

    • Yes Susan, those who swore to “Protect & Serve” you & the rest of the general public know that the “Law” is in their own hands to bend & twist to fit their own agendas, ulterior motives & get away with it.

      In two cases that I witnessed, a man having grand mal seizure in a public bus & the other one in hospital lobby, the Police suspecting ILLEGAL DRUG OVERDOSE, are screaming at the unconscious men, “what kind of drug did you take, how much drugs did you take”?

      My blood boiling with anger at the GESTAPO henchmen, I had to intervene very rudely to make my point very clear that the victims of Epilepsy having grand mal seizures “don’t need Gestapo interrogation when they are down & out”, trying to survive another episode of their neurological disorder.

      Surprisingly, the stern rude reaction to the Gestapo characters seem to have worked precisely, stopping the abuse & harassment & requesting Ambulance to care for the seizing patient in the public bus & first aid crew run to help the patient in hospital lobby, rescuing the patients from police harassment.

      That’s why society needs to have Civilian Review Board & Oversight Committee to check on those loose cannons & regulate the Police misconduct, imposed on helpless & defenseless civilIans.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — April 2, 2019 @ 6:51 AM

  7. Gerrie, I know you’ve been through it all, yet still have a patience, compassion and perseverance close to none.

    If only we could make you our Secretary of Health, everyone’s well-being would be assured.

    Unhappily, that’s not the case and we deal (willingly or unwillingly) with the cards we are dealt.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 28, 2019 @ 5:32 PM

    • Phylis,
      Like I’ve said it many times before, I’ve learned a lot from you & from many members of this forum on how to cope & survive Epilepsy.
      I’m fortunate & grateful to have found this forum to share my experience & learn from the experience of many others like me, sharing their determination to overcome the struggle with medical hardships & social problems in coping with seizures.
      I doubt I would fit to be a politician & Secretary of Health for I can NOT remain silent watching the voiceless tormented in the shadows of hospital industry, racing for financial gains at the expense of the helpless & voiceless victims of medical hardships.
      I’m just happy I made it this far, learning a lot about life’s arduous journey to survive all odds.
      Thanks for your devotion, hard work & precious times advocating for victims of Epilepsy, you’re doing a lot of good more than you will ever come to know.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — March 29, 2019 @ 3:04 PM

      • Gerrie, I’m so glad you found US.

        Without you there would be no Epilepsy Talk.

        And there would be nothing and no one to wake up for in the morning.

        You are more than a cause. You are family.

        And whatever we can do to see each other through, we do.

        That’s what family is all about.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 29, 2019 @ 3:44 PM

  8. I am very disappointed in this foundation! My son has been trying to file suit on disability discrimination the legal center the foundation referred him to messes around with us for almost a year then sent letter they couldn’t help! your office in my area when I called gave me ” someone will call back” weeks later I called back ” been so busy with fund raiser”! As u are aware of stress is something he cannot deal with and just wants to give up, but I will fight for justification and thought this foundation would be the best help, guess not!


    Comment by Glenda J Bowen — March 29, 2019 @ 5:49 AM

    • I am sorry, but I am not The Epilepsy Foundation.

      I am solely the writer for this website.

      I would suggest you hire a professional attorney who can help you and represent you to a greater degree than the EFA.


      Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 29, 2019 @ 6:16 AM

    • Glenda,
      Cut the Lawyers & foundations just like I did.
      I think you’ve a better chance of completing/wining your son’s case on your own in a whole lot shorter time than having to depend on the bureaucratic circuse of the foundations, lawyers & SSA.
      – Ask your son’s doctor to write a letter to SSA, clearly defining the disability of your son & recommending for medical/medicare insurance & disability income,
      – Attach the Doctors letter to your son’s medical & medical history of your son & SSI/SSDI application,
      – Make copies of your son’s SSDI application, doctor’s letter & medical records & history to SSA & mail the documents to SSA, your Senator & Congressman/Woman,
      You will be surprised to note how fast SSA responds to your Senator’s immediate involvement on behalf of your son.
      Keep persistent contact with your senator & report any mismanagement & SSA’s unnecessary delay to your Senator.
      Good Luck!

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — March 29, 2019 @ 2:12 PM

      • Brilliant and straight to the point.

        Politicians get elected by YOUR vote.

        Make that vote count.

        For yourself and others.


        Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — March 29, 2019 @ 3:48 PM

  9. *Cut out the lawyers & foundations of your son’s case & start working with your Senator to expedite your son’s case.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — March 29, 2019 @ 2:18 PM

  10. Gerrie,
    Did your local Senator actually help you win your own case? If so, it restores my ever waning patience with our government.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by skolly9 — March 31, 2019 @ 3:25 PM

    • Skolly,
      While my Docotor’s reccomendation & my medical history was deterimental for my SSDI benefits, Yes, you can say that my Senator’s persistent demands for SSA to expedite my case was practically instrumental in winning my case in few months than the people who hire lawyers or count on foundations & agencies who claim to help process disability benefits.
      In fact, my brother was so surprised at how I won my case so quickly, he asked me how did you get to win your case so fast, when a lot of people are waiting for 7yrs with the help of “lawyers & agencies”.
      When I told him, my Senator helped me expedite my case, he said he never knew the Senators can be so helpful.
      Therefore, yes, getting your Senator involved vouching for you can cut self-serving Lawyers extension cord & SSA’S bureaucratic nightmare & tormenting circus.

      Liked by 1 person

      Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — March 31, 2019 @ 5:11 PM

  11. Thank you Philis, Thank you for your inspiring commitment to speak out for the voiceless.
    My whole world was collapsing in front of my eyes because of Epilepsy, I even refused to believe that I was having seizures, walking out of hospital emergency rooms/beds, until I started researching & discovered EpilepsyTalk & following the stories, articles & comments of all members of EpilepsyTalk sharing their experience for the whole world to learn from.
    Therefore, I’ve learned to survive Epilepsy from you & all members of this forum.
    And thanks to EpilepsyTalk, I made it this far, coping with nearly 20 years of seizures, medication side-effects & SSA bureaucratic nightmares.
    Yes, I managed to come this far with the support of all members of EpilepsyTalk.

    Liked by 1 person

    Comment by BahreNegash Eritrea — April 1, 2019 @ 10:49 PM

  12. Just as we help you, you help us — immensely.


    Comment by Phylis Feiner Johnson — April 2, 2019 @ 10:08 AM

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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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