Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Aid is free legal help in civil cases for people in poverty, people 60 years of age and older and people with disabilities.

We serve people in poverty in 20 central Minnesota counties.
We serve people 60 years of age and older, regardless of income, in 26 central Minnesota counties.
We serve people with disabilities, regardless of income, in all Minnesota counties.
Services of our Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, Project Care and our Youth Law Project are available to all people throughout the state, regardless of income.

Call our intake line, 1-877-696-6529.
Call our Disability Law Center, 1-800-292-4150.
Connect online at LawHelpMN or by using a kiosk.

An intake specialist will listen and ask questions to determine if we can help you with civil legal aid. If we can’t, we will make every effort to provide resources.

Due to high call volume, you may be unable to reach an intake specialist on your first attempt. Please try again another day/time.

Civil Legal Aid refers to free assistance for legal matters outside the criminal justice system. At Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, this includes: Consumer, Disability, Family, Housing, Immigration, Public Benefits, Senior, Tax, and Youth law.

Legal Aid does not take:

  • Criminal cases
  • Estate planning/probate
  • Personal injury
  • Property or land disputes
  • Defective items/vehicle claims
  • Business and corporate litigation
  • Employment law (exceptions: disability discrimination, low-income wage theft)

We suggest those needing help with criminal matters seek out a public defender.

We use federal poverty guidelines to determine eligibility for clients who qualify for services based on income. Generally, if you qualify for government assistance — SNAP benefits (formerly called food stamps), Supplemental Security Insurance, Medical Assistance or the Minnesota Family Investment Program (MFIP) — you likely meet income guidelines to qualify for legal aid. However, for some of our services, no income guidelines apply. In all cases, our intake specialists will help determine your eligibility.

No. People, 60 and older and people with disabilities do not need to meet income guidelines to receive our services. However, we do take income into consideration as one factor when prioritizing cases we are able to take. The same is true for our Low Income Taxpayer Clinic and clients of Project Care.

Legal Aid is home to the Minnesota Disability Law Center (MDLC). Like Legal Aid’s other units (housing, immigration and family law units, for example), MDLC has its own legal focus, which is disability law. MDLC is unique, however, as it carries out MMLA’s work as the state’s federally designated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) agency for people with disabilities in Minnesota. Every state and territory has a P&A. Under federal law, MDLC has investigative and monitoring authority. This means MDLC attorneys and legal advocates may enter facilities that house or serve people with disabilities, like nursing homes and schools, to monitor the facility and ensure there is no abuse or neglect taking place. MDLC also has the authority to investigate complaints of abuse and neglect of people with disabilities. 

Our offices are in Minneapolis, St. Cloud and Willmar.
We have lawyers in neighborhood community clinics.
Our Minnesota Disability Law Center has additional offices in Duluth and Mankato with a caseworker in the Crookston area.
We are mobile, traveling to rural areas and far reaches of the state in our Justice Bus.
We are also a click away via mobile kiosks located throughout the state.

A Justice Bus is essentially a Legal Aid office on wheels. It’s a large van furnished with digital access and room to bring Legal Aid staff to people in far reaches of our service areas.

No. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

No. Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s services are completely confidential. We do not report the immigration status of people who contact us for advice or services.

Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid and Central Minnesota Legal Services are two separate nonprofit law offices. Both provide free legal help to low-income people throughout Central Minnesota and coordinate to meet the needs of eligible clients. Each have different funding sources which allow them to represent different people. However, prospective clients do not need to worry about which office to call. If you call Legal Aid’s intake number and qualify for services, our intake specialists will route you to the appropriate organization.