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.
Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
Lawyer Referral Service (LRS)
216-696-3532 OR 877-CLEVBAR
LRS serves as a bridge between the public and lawyers in our community. Referral and initial consultation always free, but does NOT refer pro bono or reduced-rate lawyers. No walk-in appointments. Call 9am - 4pm, Monday - Friday. Can also leave a voice mail message, or send an email via the online Get a Referral form. After a brief interview with an Intake Specialist, you will be given the name and phone number of one of the LRS Member Lawyers. Upon being referred, call the lawyer's office. Neither you nor the lawyer are obligated to go any further - if the lawyer can help and agrees to represent you, negotiate legal fees as normal. If the the lawyer cannot help you, you are welcome to contact LRS again for additional referral(s).
Legal Aid Society of Cleveland (LAS)
1223 West 6th Street
Cleveland, OH 44113
216-687-1900 OR 888-817-3777
Free for those who qualify for LAS's services. Areas of law include consumer, family, housing, education, work, public benefits, and immigration. Does NOT handle criminal cases or traffic violations. If you need to get help, call 9am - 4pm Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, OR 9am - 2pm Tuesday or Thursday. You can also go to one of the offices 9am - 2pm, Tuesdays or Thursdays, without an appointment. When calling or going to one of the offices, be sure to have all of the papers about your legal problem. LAS will determine if you are financially eligible for its services, and if your case is the type of case they handle. Then LAS will give you advice, schedule an appointment, or refer you to a volunteer attorney. The Cleveland office handles the bulk of LAS's caseload in Cuyahoga County. There are also LAS offices in Jefferson, Painesville, and Elyria. For office addresses and phone numbers, click here.
American Civil Liberties Union of Ohio Foundation
4506 Chester Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44103-3621
Attn: Intake Dept.
Handles cases that involve serious violations of civil liberties by the government. No financial eligibility requirement to take a case. However, being funded primarily by donations, it cannot take every worthy case and takes less than 30 cases per year. In most circumstances, it cannot take divorce, child custody, landlord/tenant or private employment cases. If you need legal help, send a one page letter summarizing your situation, along with a self-addressed stamped envelope, to the above listed address, or fill out an online complaint form. No walk-in service. No legal advice over the phone, through email, or by fax. If the ACLU Foundation takes your case, there is no fee for its services.
Cleveland Tenants Organization
Cleveland, OH 44127
Helps tenants and landlords resolve issues that might otherwise lead to unsuitable housing conditions or evictions. Also helps landlords understand their lawful obligations, and helps ensure landlords are solvent, responsible stewards of their properties. No walk-in appointments. Call 9am - 5pm, Monday - Friday. For specific evicition information and services, call Eviction Diversion Program at 216-432-0617, extension 2.
Connects financially distressed homeowners with HUD-approved housing counseling agencies that help families avoid foreclosure through programs such as the Hardest Hit Fund and Making Home Affordable. No walk-in appointments - email or call (8am - 5pm, Monday - Friday). Administered by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.
Pro Seniors Legal Hotline
800-488-6070 (all of Ohio) OR 513-345-4160 (Cincinnati area)
Provides free legal information, advice, and referral for residents of Ohio age 60 and over, regardless of income or resources. Call 8:30am - 4:30pm, Monday - Friday, to talk to an intake worker. After a brief interview, the intake worker will schedule an appointment for you to speak with an attorney. Then one of the Legal Hotline attorneys will call you to discuss your legal issue. If you have a legal problem that cannot be solved over the phone, the Legal Hotline will try to refer you to an appropriate source for more in-depth assistance.
Witness/Victim Service Center of Cuyahoga County
75 Erieview Plaza, 5th Floor
Cleveland, OH 44114
Seeks to protect crime victims' rights to receive advocacy, information, and access to community services. Services include juvenile court advocacy, victim advocacy, bilingual services, therapeutic and supportice services, community referrals and education, and victims of crime compensation. No walk-in appointments - must call. There is usually a waiting list. Potential clients are called as soon as possible.
The Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program (CHLAP)
A partnership program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. Provides pro bono legal assistance to homeless and at-risk individuals. Helps individuals with civil legal issues, including driver's license reinstatement, credit problems, criminal record expungement, landlord-tenant problems, public benefits, and family law. No walk-in appointments - must call. There is usually a waiting list. Potential clients are called as soon as possible.
Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
Under the close supervision of experienced attorneys, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law 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 clinics are litigation oriented, which means they serve clients with legal problems that could potentially result in a lawsuit or an administrative hearing. Other clinics provide advice to clients by researching the law and counseling them. Other clinics combine counseling, transactional work, and litigation. No walk-in appointments - must call. There is usually a waiting list. Potential clients are called as soon as possible.
Case Western Reserve University
Milton A. Kramer Law Clinic Center
Clinic areas include Civil Litigation (eg, home repair disputes, police misconduct), Criminal Justice (eg, defense of indigent clients, appeals), Community Development (advising start-ups, compliance), Health Law (eg, Social Security disability claims, access to health care), Human Rights & Civil Rights (eg, relief from removal or deportation, protection under the Convention Against Torture), and Intellectual Property Venture (eg, IP protection strategy, patent documents). No walk-in appointments - must call. There is usually a waiting list. Potential clients are called as soon as possible.
University of Akron School of Law
Clinic areas include Trademark, Small Entrepreneur and Economic Development (SEED), Reentry Community (eg, criminal records expungement, Certificates fo Qualification for Employment), Inmate Assistance, Civil Litigation, Domestic Relations (eg, child support, dissolutions), Health Law & Policy, and Social Justice. No walk-in appointments - must call. There is usually a waiting list. Potential clients are called as soon as possible.
Help from Local Courts:
Court of Appeals of Ohio - Eighth Appellate District Staff Attorneys - Will respond to inquiries by litigants on 8th Appellate District court procedure.
Cuyahoga County Domestic Relations Court Information Center - Call 216-443-8800 or 216-443-3178, and ask for the Information Center. Provides basic information about court procedures, as well as supplies required court forms to unrepresented parties and attorneys.
Legal Research Help: How To Research A Legal Problem: A Guide for Non-Lawyers
JRN 11/07; links checked BEC 10/25/13; updated LER 4/29/16