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Frequently Asked Questions - Need Legal Help?

Central Minnesota Legal Services cannot provide legal advice unless you have requested legal services and you are eligible for services after we have reviewed your case. However, we have put together a list of frequently asked questions and answers that may assist you.

Central Minnesota Legal Services provides free civil legal services to low-income persons in 21 counties in Central Minnesota.

 Applicants for Central Minnesota Legal Services (CMLS) must qualify under financial guidelines.  These guidelines are based upon household size, income and assets.  Most families who receive government benefits or who have minimum wage jobs are eligible for our services.

 Central Minnesota Legal Services accepts civil legal matters in the areas of family law, housing, government benefits, consumer law and employment law.

 To see if Central Minnesota Legal Services can help you, you will need to go through our intake process.  To do this, call our intake phone number at:

Minneapolis Office (Hennepin & Anoka Counties) - (612) 334-5970

St. Cloud Office (Benton, Chisago, Isanti, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wright counties) - 1-800-622-7773

Willmar Office - (Big Stone, Chippewa, Kandiyohi, Lac Qui Parle, Lincoln, Lyon, Meeker, Renville, Swift, Yellow Medicine counties) - 1-800-622-4011

If you are not located in one of these counties, Central Minnesota Legal Services staff may refer you to another organization that can provide you with assistance.

 CMLS does not have the resources to represent everyone who needs our services and is eligible.  Because of this, we have to make decisions on which cases take priority.  In each case, we will consider whether the person will suffer serious harm if we don't represent them; what, if anything, we can do to help them; and whether the service they need can be provided by a private attorney for a low fee.  We also consider the effect that the case will have on the low-income community as a whole.

 If CMLS cannot assist you, you may be able to find a lawyer at some of the following places:

Minnesota State Bar Association Referral

Hennepin County Bar Association Attorney Referral (note that this organization has a low-fee family law option for qualified individuals)

Ramsey County Bar Association Referral Service: