New Guide to Legal Help is available

There is a new tool available for people looking for legal help or information – the Guide to Legal Help on MichiganLegalHelp.org. The Guide gives visitors referrals and legal information tailored to their legal problem and the resources available to them.
The Guide to Legal Help has many important uses. It can help someone identify and describe a legal problem so they can easily talk about it with advocates, lawyers, or court staff. The Guide directs them to legal information on the Michigan Legal Help website where they can learn more about their legal problem. If they choose, they can use the tools there to easily create necessary court forms.

Most importantly, the Guide gives visitors tailored referrals to Legal Aid or private bar referral services. Legal Aid offices around the state are limited in how many people they can help, and often would-be clients are frustrated when they spend time talking with Legal Aid but can’t get help. The Guide to Legal Help refers people with legal problems to the most appropriate resources for them given their circumstances and the available options in their community. Clients may be directed to a Legal Aid office, or to Michigan’s Counsel and Advocacy Law Line, or to the State Bar of Michigan’s various lawyer search and referral tools.

The Guide to Legal Help also refers people to mediation options where appropriate, and to online dispute resolution options where these are available. It also refers visitors to other resources such as foreclosure housing counselors, government agencies, and domestic violence shelters.

In addition to referring people to self-help and lawyer resources, the Guide has unique screening features that allow it to deliver tailored resources. The Guide refers people to out-of-state Legal Aid websites if they are not from Michigan. It screens for specialized services for elderly people, veterans, and other groups. It alerts visitors to possible eligibility for public benefits they are not receiving, and it directs visitors to the type of legal assistance they need most. The Guide to Legal Help works on a mobile phone, and if someone can’t access the Internet, they can use the Guide at any Self-Help Center or public library. If someone needs help using the Guide, Michigan Legal Help’s LiveHelp chat service is available, and all Self-Help Center staff will get a special training on how the Guide works. To see the Guide in action, visit MichiganLegalHelp.org and use one of the many on-ramps to access it.
Michigan Legal Help is funded by the State Court Administrative Office, Michigan State Bar Foundation, State Bar of Michigan, and the Legal Services Corporation. 

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