How does this site work?
People who qualify can post a question and get legal advice from a volunteer lawyer. Using the site is free. It is private; only the site administrator and the volunteer lawyers see the client’s name and question. Lawyers can log in at any time and see and answer questions. Clients can post questions and read answers at any time.
Who runs this site?
Legal Services State Support runs Minnesota Legal Advice Online. State Support's mission is to improve access to justice for all Minnesotans. One way we do this is by providing free legal advice to people who have a low income. State Support is a project of the Minnesota Legal Services Coalition, an association of seven Minnesota regional legal services programs, and is funded through a grant from the Legal Services Advisory Committee and the Court Technology Fund.
Who gives advice on this site?
Our lawyers are volunteers who give advice here for free because they think it is important to help people who cannot afford a lawyer. All our volunteer lawyers are licensed to practice law in Minnesota. We verify this by requiring all lawyers to provide their attorney registration number when they sign up, so we can check that they are in good standing with the Minnesota Supreme Court.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to get an answer to my question?
It depends. Some questions are answered by a lawyer quickly, within 1 - 2 days. The lawyers do their best to respond to questions as quickly as possible, but sometimes it takes longer. Questions stay on the website for the lawyers to see and answer for at least three weeks. All the lawyers on this site are volunteers, so we cannot promise that someone will answer your question.
Why do I have to tell you how much money I make?
This site is run by an office that helps give free legal advice to people who have a low income. We have to ask about your income to make sure your income falls under the limit. The lawyers who volunteer for this site do so because they think it is important to help people who cannot afford a lawyer.
Who can read my questions?
Your questions are only seen by the volunteer lawyers. Nobody else can read your question, and only you and the lawyer who answers your question see the whole conversation.
Why can't I read other people's questions and answers?
There are laws that require lawyers to keep the information a client tells them private. On this website you are a client getting personal advice from the lawyer. This means you have a relationship with that lawyer, even if it is only for a short time. To make sure that relationship is protected as much as possible, we keep your question (and other people's questions) private. This is why you have to create a password and login.
How can I keep my information private?
You have to login using an email and password to access this site. This helps keep your information private. If you are in an unsafe situation, please only use a safe email address. If an abuser can access your email, the abuser can find out what you have posted.
Computers, phones, and tablets store information about what you view on the internet including the websites you visit and other activities. If you think someone is monitoring your activity and you do not want them to know you visited a website, it might be safer to use a computer in a public library or at a trusted friend's house.
Can more than one lawyer answer my question?
No. Only one lawyer will answer your question. Once a lawyer agrees to answer your question, the conversation is only between you and that lawyer. The site administrator may give referrals or other information to help you with your problem.
How do I know if a lawyer has answered my question?
You will get an email from this website letting you know a lawyer has answered your question. You will need to login in to the website to read and respond to the lawyer.
Can I ask more than one question?
Can I get a pro bono lawyer from this website?
This site is only for advice. That means you describe your problem and the lawyer gives you some advice and information about your rights and what you can or should do. The lawyers here will not go to court with you or write any papers for you. The work they do here is pro bono which means free. Once the lawyer finishes giving you advice about your question, they are no longer your lawyer.
If you need a pro bono lawyer to represent you in court you should call legal aid or a volunteer attorney program in your area. You can find a list of organizations here.
I really want to talk to someone on the phone, can I leave my number?
No. This site is only for people who want to ask a question and get an answer here.