Legal Aid

Free or low-cost legal services in Philadelphia

The Temple Legal Aid Office provides free legal representation in civil law matters to qualifying, low-income, Philadelphia residents. The Legal Aid Office frequently helps clients with issues related to:

  • Family law (child and spousal custody and support, kinship adoption, etc.)
  • Problems encountered with health insurance companies
  • Life-planning (wills, powers of attorney, etc.)
  • Employment discrimination
  • Public benefits as they relate to persons with chronic illness and physical disabilities

Founded in 1966 by the Philadelphia Bar Association, Community Legal Services (CLS) has provided free civil legal assistance to more than one million low-income Philadelphians. Approximately 10,000 clients were represented by CLS in the past year. CLS assists clients when they face the threat of losing their homes, incomes, health care, and even their families. CLS attorneys and other staff provide a full range of legal services, from individual representation to administrative advocacy to class action litigation, as well as community education and social work. CLS is nationally recognized as a model legal services program

Participatory Defense Hub – Philadelphia Hubs Participatory Defense is a community organizing model for people facing charges, their families, and their communities to impact the outcome of cases and transform the landscape of power in the court system. Community members meet weekly to support each other, share firsthand knowledge about the legal system, and create a narrative of humanity around the person on trial. Meetings are every Thursday 6pm-8pm at Kingsessing Rec Center, 4901 Kingsessing Ave.

Philadelphia Legal Assistance
For more than 20 years, Philadelphia Legal Assistance (PLA) has provided free civil legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in Philadelphia. About 30% of the people in Philadelphia live in families with incomes below the federal poverty level. For those who are low-income, elderly, or disabled, our legal assistance is often crucial for them to protect their homes, their children, their safety, and their livelihood. PLA is dedicated to helping those who cannot afford legal counsel navigate the legal system and understand and safeguard their rights.

The Defender Association of Philadelphia is an independent, non-profit corporation founded in 1934 by a group of Philadelphia lawyers dedicated to the ideal of providing high quality legal services for indigent criminal defendants. That ideal continues today with over 200 full-time Assistant Defenders who represent approximately 70% of all people arrested in Philadelphia. The Defender Association works closely with the GRI to select clients to participate in the GRI. Once the GRI intern and client have finalized the client’s discharge plan, the Defender Association acts as the primary mediator between the GRI, the District Attorney, and the client’s judge. The Defender Association plays a crucial role in the GRI; their support and guidance are integral to our success.