Resources by Topic | Finding Legal Assistance
Requesting Legal Assistance from NARF
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The websites below are organized into several groups, but many provide a wide variety of resources. This web page does not represent a complete list of legal aids available. If you think an additional site should be linked, please contact the library.
Your local libraries can be a helpful source of information and might be able to provide you with local directories of information about legal aid and lawyers. Your area might have a local bar association, for instance. (Check the business listing of your phone book.) Guidance on how to perform legal research is available at the library's research guides.
1. Lawyers and Law Firms certain law firms specialize in Native American issues. While law firms may charge a premium for some services, they may also allow discounted, or even free, support for some services. Discounted or free service availability will generally depend on (1) the type of service, (2) situation of the client, or (3) availability of attorneys practicing pro bono work.
2. Pro Bono is a Latin term meaning done without compensation for the public good. Lawyers are encouraged to provide free legal service by volunteering their time. Lawyers practicing pro bono work can be found through pro bono service directories.
3. Legal Aid every state should have a legal aid service. These services are funded with federal, state, and private contributions. The support provided may vary from free (for some services) to affordable/discounted rates for other services. Colorado Legal Services, for instance, does not charge a fee so long as the client meets certain federal income guidelines.
Income eligibility for legal assistance: To find out if you may qualify for legal aid, check out the legal aid requirements set by the Legal Services Corporation. They establish maximum income levels for individuals eligible for legal assistance based on current Federal Poverty Guidelines. In addition the Legal Services Act provides that other specified factors shall be taken into account along with income. See the "Income Level for Individuals Eligible for Assistance" published in the Federal Register (Feburary 2, 2012 (Volume 77, Number 4904)).
4. Indian Law Clinics exist at some law schools. The clinics provide law students with experience in Native American law, and at the same time provide legal services to tribes and low-income Native clients. Some clinics will work with tribal governments, courts, organizations and attorneys. Other clinics will work with Native clients on Native issues, representing them in state, federal, tribal, and government hearings. Check the clinic near you for their practice guidelines.
American Bar Association
Indian Bar Associations
State Bar Associations
California Indian Legal Services
Guide to Colorado Legal Resources for Native Americans (Indian Law Clinic, University of Colorado School of Law)
Tribal Referral List (January 2006, 2nd Edition, Northwest Indian Bar Association and Washington State Bar Association, Indian Law Section)
FindLaw Lawyer Directory -- Scoll to the bottom of the web page and click on "Native Peoples Law" under the "CIVIL & HUMAN RIGHTS" topic. This link will take you to a page that will allow you to pick a state. After you have picked a state, there will be links which allow you to browse "Native Peoples Law" lawyers by location. If a native peoples law firm or lawyer is listed, a link will be provided to the attorney or law firm profile, with contact information and a full description of their practice areas.
Native American Attorney Profiles - Native American Lawyers - Cornell LII (Legal Information Institute) Lawyer Directory
Martindale.com, Lawyer Locator -- Under "areas of practice " choose "Indians and Native Populations"
National Association of Indian Legal Services (Wisconsin Judicare, Inc. Indian Law Office)
The book The Directory of Legal Aid and Defender Offices in the United States and Territories (order online from the National Legal Aid and Defender Association website) provides lists of "civil legal service offices," "defender offices," and "legal support services." Contact the library for assistance accessing this material or ask your local libraries if a copy of this book is available.
Access to Justice (South Dakota)
Anishinabe Legal Services (Leech Lake, Red Lake, & White Earth Reservations in Northwestern Minnesota)
Dakota Plains Legal Services
528 Kansas City St, Rapid City, SD 57701
DNA People's Legal Services (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)
Northwest Justice Project (Washington)
An Internet directory of Indian Law Clinics does not exist, so clinics are listed below. These organizations are associated with university law schools; therefore, descriptions are often written with the "prospective student" in mind. If a clinic is missing from the list, please alert the library.
Arizona: Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program, Advocacy and Clinical Projects
and Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University Indian Legal Clinic
California: UCLA American Indian Studies Center
Colorado: American Indian Law Clinic, University of Colorado Law School, in-take phone number: (303) 492-8126
Denver Indian Center - Walk-in clinic on the first Wednesday of each month at the Denver Indian Center.
Massachusetts: Indian Law and Indigenous Peoples Clinic, Suffolk University Law School
Michigan: Indigenous Law Clinic, Indigenous Law & Policy Center, Michigan State University College of Law
Minnesota: Indian Child Welfare Act Clinic, University of Minnesota
Montana: Indian Law Clinic, University of Montana
New Mexico: Southwest Indian Law Clinic, University of New Mexico
New York: Center for Indigenous Law, Governance and Citizenship, Syracuse University College of Law
North Dakota: Northern Plains Indian Law Center, University of North Dakota
Northwest: Northwest Justice Project
Oklahoma: Jodi G. Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic at Oklahoma City University
Wisconsin: Great Lakes Indian Law Center, University of WisconsinJodi G. Marquette American Indian Wills Clinic at Oklahoma City University
Library Disclaimer: The library's web site contains links to information created and maintained by other organizations. Should you leave this web site and enter an external link, the library does not control and cannot guarantee the accuracy, relevance, or timeliness of information provided by linked sites. Providing a link to a web site does not constitute an endorsement by the Native American Rights Fund or its library, any of its employees, board of directors, funders or National Support Committee of the information provided by that web site. These web pages do not constitute, in any way, shape or form, legal advice, and should not be construed as a replacement for direct legal counsel. If you desire legal advice, you should consult competent legal counsel.