The Law Library staff can assist you in locating and using the legal materials in our library. However, we cannot give legal opinions or advice. If you need legal advice or help in finding an attorney, the following organizations may be able to help you.
The CMBA's Lawyer Referral Service serves as a bridge between the public and the legal community by assisting persons who have legal questions or need legal advice but do not know where to turn for a lawyer. Referrals can be made based on legal specialties or geography. If you are an individual seeking legal assistance, contact the Lawyer Referral Service (LRS) by phone at (216) 696-3532 or 1-877-CLEV-BAR (1-877-253-8227), Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. You may also leave a voice mail message at those numbers 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or send an email via online referral request forms. After a brief interview with an Intake Specialist, you will be given the name and phone number of one of the Panel Member Attorneys based on area of law and any geographic and/or language preferences. Once you have the Attorney's name and number, you may contact his/her office directly.
ACLU of Ohio Foundation
4506 Chester Avenue
Cleveland, Ohio 44103-3621
Attn: Intake Dept.
Provides legal services to protect individuals' constitutional rights. Will defend the injured party in court if the dispute cannot otherwise be settled. Serves to protect, defend, expand constitutional rights and civil liberties by litigation, legislative action, and public education. If you need legal assistance, send a one page letter describing the situation along with a self-addressed stamped envelope to the above listed address, or fill out an online complaint form. You will be contacted if the American Civil Liberties Union can help.
* No walk-in service or legal advice given over the phone.
* No income requirements.
* No fee for services.
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
1223 W. 6th St.
Cleveland, OH 44113
Assistance is free for those who qualify for the Society's services. Areas of law include: housing, consumer, employment, education, social security, benefits, family, immigration, income tax, and older persons. If you need to get help you can come to one of the offices between 9 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. in the morning and 1 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. in the afternoon without an appointment on any week day. You can also call to begin the new client intake process. Once you arrive at the office or call, Legal Aid will determine if you are financially eligible for the services and if your case is the type of case they handle. Be sure to bring all of the papers you have about your legal problem. Then Legal Aid will either give you advice, schedule an appointment, or refer you to a volunteer attorney. If you are an older person who lives in Cuyahoga County, you can call the Senior Helpline at 216-861-5479 to schedule an appointment to meet an attorney at the Legal Aid office or at a Senior Citizen Center if you qualify for Legal Aid's services and have a legal problem they can handle.
The Downtown office handles the bulk of the Society's caseload in Cuyahoga County. An office in Painesville serves Lake and Geauga Counties, one in Elyria covers Lorain County, and one in Jefferson covers Ashtabula County. For office addresses and phone numbers, click here.
Housing Advocates, Inc.
3655 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115
Housing Advocates is a not-for-profit tax exempt corporation designated as a public interest law firm by the IRS. It operates a Housing Law Clinic as a joint program with Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Intake process requires person to call and leave detailed message about the problem. Someone from HAI will return your call. No walk-in assistance. Handles housing discrimination cases in both state and federal court, and agencies. They do not assist with landlord tenant disputes. If HAI cannot handle the case, they try to make referrals when possible. Their fees are based on the client's ability to pay.
Witness/Victim Service Center of Cuyahoga County
1275 Ontario St., 2nd Floor
Cleveland, OH 44113
The Witness/Victims Service Center seeks to promote and preserve the rights of crime victims. Services provided include criminal justice and juvenile court system advocacy, community referrals (including attorneys), counseling, assistance with applications for victims of crime compensation, and bilingual services for Spanish-speaking individuals. Office hours are from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Cleveland State University
1801 Euclid Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44115
Law students get to put what they learn in the classroom to work in the service of actual clients with real world legal problems in a number of Law Clinics at Cleveland-Marshall School of Law. Under the close supervision of experienced attorneys, students serve the community and learn lawyering skills by practicing law. The clinics specialize in particular areas of the law: Civil Litigation, Community Advocacy Law, Environmental Law, Law and Public Policy, and Transactional Law. Some are litigation oriented which means they serve clients with legal problems that could potentially result in a lawsuit or an administrative hearing, others provide advice to clients by researching the law and counseling them, still others combine counseling, transactional work and litigation.
Case Western Reserve University
Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center
11075 East Blvd.
Cleveland, OH 44106
216/368-2766 (Open 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday)
NO LEGAL ADVICE IS GIVEN OVER THE PHONE. IF A PERSON REQUESTING ADVICE IS ELIGIBLE FOR OUR SERVICES THE NAME WILL BE PLACED ON OUR WAITING LIST AND PERSON IS CALLED AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO COME INTO THE OFFICE FOR COUNSELING. SERVICES PROVIDED: The Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center at Case School of Law offers free legal assistance to persons who meet minimum incomes guidelines with certain types of legal problems.. Some of the legal problems the clinic handles are: criminal misdemeanor cases in Shaker Heights and Cleveland Heights, consumer home repair and predatory lending, social security disability and health insurance claims and assistance to non-profit groups and organizations as well as certain small businesses in organizational and ongoing legal matters. They do not handle criminal felony cases, appeals, and cases where you are unlikely to need a lawyer (small claims court) or cases where you can find a lawyer to help you without requiring a fee in advance (fee generating cases where you are trying to recover money). ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: All persons in Cuyahoga County of any age or race are eligible if they are within the income guidelines. FEES: No legal fee is charged. Filing and court costs must be paid by the client. REFERRAL REQUIREMENTS: Call the clinic and talk to the intake person. There is usually a waiting list. Potential clients are placed on the list and called as soon as possible. All appointments are made by phone. No walk-in appointments are accepted.
The Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program
In association with the Cleveland Bar Association, CHLAP has implemented a legal service project to aid homeless and impoverished people. Services are for those who are: homeless, were homeless in the last 2 yrs., living in a shelter or state sponsored facility, at risk of being evicted or in the process of being evicted. Intake process occurs over the phone, and a referral is provided for an attorney who will handle the case free of charge. Also, there are legal clinics at 5 or 6 sites around the area where people may go to get help from an attorney who will be present to answer questions. CHLAP handles housing, criminal, domestic, credit, and social security types of cases.
Cleveland Tenants Organization
3631 Perkins Ave. Suite 3A4
Cleveland, OH 44114
CTO provides information about the Ohio landlord and tenant laws to both Landlords and tenants in Cleveland. They will answer questions over the phone according to the laws of Ohio. Referrals are also made if a person has a question the CTO staff cannot answer. Intake process requires you to call for assistance. No walk-ins. Call Eviction Diversion Program for a referral to legal services: 621-1570
Save the Dream -Legal Assistance with foreclosures for Ohioans. Go to the website, or call (888) 404-4764
University of Akron - Prisoner Legal Assistance Clinic: Provides legal research for Ohio prisoners, on a selective basis.
Pro Seniors for Ohioans over 60 - Legal advice hotline
Help from Local Courts:
Eighth District Court of Appeals Staff Attorneys - Can help with procedural issues concerning filing an appeal.
Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court Information Center - Call the court and ask for the information center.
JRN 11/2007 rev. 10/29/2013
links checked 10/25/2013 BEC