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How do I get in touch with Legal Action to discuss my legal problem?
Legal Action has six offices to serve southern Wisconsin: Green Bay, La Crosse, Madison, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, and Racine. Please use our Find Us page to locate the office closest to you and to learn the best time for you to call.
What kinds of cases does Legal Action handle?
See our Areas of Law and Special Projects page for a detailed description of the types of cases that we handle. Most often, Legal Action takes the following types of cases:
public benefits (welfare)
license revocations and suspensions (drivers licenses & occupational licenses)
inaccurate criminal background records & arrest records.
However, it is not always easy to identify or classify legal problems. We encourage you to call us and describe your problem. Use the Find Us page to to locate the office closest to you and to learn the best time for you to call.
What kinds of cases does Legal Action NOT handle?
fee-generating cases (such as personal injury cases)
There can be several reasons that we do might not take your case: you might not have a legal problem; you might have a legal problem of a type that we don't handle; you might have a type of legal problem that we are not allowed to handle; your problem might not have merit under our laws and regulations; we might not have enough lawyers to take more cases; you might not be considered low-income; and many others. Please be assured that Legal Action carefully considers every request for service, that we are constantly working to get more funding to add work lawyers, and that our existing lawyers and support staff take as many cases as they can.
Can Legal Action take my case if I am in prison/jail and I need a lawyer?
Legal Action cannot represent prisoners in court actions.
Why doesn't Legal Action handle personal injury cases?
As a condition of federal funding from the Legal Services Corporation, we are restricted from handling certain kinds of cases, including fee-generating cases such as personal injury cases. There are many attorneys who will accept personal injury cases on a contingent fee basis. We encourage you to use a lawyer referral service to find a lawyer. See our Additional Resources page for information about lawyer referral services.
What is a low-income person? How much money can I make and still be eligible for Legal Action’s services?
We use the federal government’s income guidelines to determine whether a person is a low-income and therefore eligible for our services. Please see our Income Eligibility page. However, we strongly encourage potential clients to call us about income eligibility. We need to talk with you to know whether you qualify. All income information is kept strictly confidential.
Is there a charge for Legal Action's services? Do clients pay for Legal Action's services?
No. Legal Action's services are free for qualified, income-eligible persons. See our Income Eligibility Guidelines page for more information. Please note that the income information is merely a guideline. We encourage you to call and ask whether you’re eligible. All income and asset information is kept confidential. SeniorLAW, a program of Legal Action that serves Milwaukee County residents who are 60 and older, does not have income and asset limitations; all SeniorLAW services are free.
Who can ask for help from Legal Action?
Migrant and seasonal workers (often referred to as migrant farmworkers)
Milwaukee County senior citizens elderly persons with civil legal problems may receive services from Legal Action.
There are income and asset limitations for most services. See eligibility guidelines for general information and contact Legal Action for determination of eligibility. (Our SeniorLAW program, which serves persons 60 and older, has no income eligibility requirements.)
What does 'screening' mean?
Sometimes, we conduct a ‘screening' interview over the phone before we do an intake with a potential client. We collect basic information during these screening interviews. They help us determine whether you are eligible and whether your legal problem is one where we can help. All information that you give us is kept confidential.
What does 'intake' mean?
'Intake' is the time set aside for potential clients to call or come into a Legal Action office to talk with a staff member about getting help for their civil legal problem.
What do I need to bring to the 'intake' interview or have on-hand when I call?
To help us evaluate you case, when you call or come to our office, have any documents, notices, letters, etc. relating to your situation or problem on hand. All information is kept confidential.
Where does Legal Action get its funding?
Legal Action receives the majority of its funding from Congress via the Legal Services Corporation, the State of Wisconsin, Wisconsin Trust Account Foundation, the Wisconsin Equal Justice Fund, other government agencies, foundations, corporations, individual lawyers and community members, and law firms. See our Get Involved and Donate pages to learn ways that you can support our work.
Why do you ask people to donate to Legal Action?
Because Legal Action does not charge clients for services, we ask lawyers, law firms, supporters, and the general community to support us -- by donating both money and services. We can't do this work without community support. Legal Action of Wisconsin is a non-profit organization: All donations to the organization are tax deductible as allowed by the law.
Why am I talking with a paralegal instead of an attorney? Is that okay?
Legal Action uses paralegal staff members to help clients and to help our lawyers. They are highly skilled and experienced members of our staff. They are supervised closely by lawyers.
Why don’t you have legal advice or legal education materials on your website?
The civil legal problems of low-income people are both complex and critically important and our services are tailored to meet individual client’s needs. They can’t be delivered on a website. We recommend that you call us to see whether we can help.