How to Find a Lawyer

Free Legal Help if You Cannot Afford a Lawyer

In Tennessee, there are 8 legal aid agencies that give free legal help for certain kinds of cases to people who cannot afford a lawyer.

Who qualifies for legal aid?
You may qualify for free legal help if you are a low-income household, and your legal problem is about:

  • Problems with your landlord
  • Food stamps (SNAP)
  • Families First (Welfare or TANF)
  • TennCare (Medicare)
  • Family problems related to domestic violence
  • Some other kinds of cases

How do I know if I qualify?
Call a legal aid office near you. We will ask you questions about your income and the income of other people who live in your home. To qualify, your income must be under the current poverty guidelines. Your case must also be the kind of case we can help with.

What if legal aid does not help with my kind of case?
Legal Aid does not help with every kind of case. For example, we cannot help with criminal cases or fee-generating cases, like car accidents where you want to make the other person pay for your injuries or the damage to your car.

Is legal aid free?
We do not charge for our legal help. But you may have to pay court costs and for other things, such as, copies of records and court reporters.
Note: Legal Aid does not have enough money to help everyone with every legal problem.

How to Find a Legal Aid Office:
To find a legal aid office near you, click on your county on the map or list of Tennessee counties.

Legal Clinics
Legal aid agencies also have legal clinics with lawyers who may be able to answer your questions and help you. Find information on legal clinics on the by contacting your local legal aid office.

Local bar associations may also have legal clinics. Click here to contact the bar association to ask them about clinics.

Email an Attorney
OnlineTNJustice.org
is a program that lets you send your questions to a lawyer by email. If you qualify for Legal Aid, a lawyer will answer your questions.

This program was developed by the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS) and the Tennessee Bar Association.

aLEGALz
aLEGALz is a toll-free phone line offering free legal information and referrals to low-income Tennesseans.  If you can't afford a lawyer, call 1-888-aLEGALz (1-888-253-4259) and leave a message about your situation.  An attorney will call you back.  The attorney can refer you to resources and may be able to give you some legal advice. 

Other Agencies Where You May Find Help
The Tennessee Association for Justice
may help you find a lawyer. 

Lawyer Referral Services

Sometimes the best way to find a lawyer is to ask someone you know to recommend a lawyer.

You can also contact a Lawyer Referral Service through your local bar association. Click on the link for a bar association in your area. Ask for their lawyer referral service.

Important!  Court employees are not allowed to make referrals to lawyers, do legal research, or give legal advice.