What to Expect

What Happens When I Contact CMLS for Help?


We will first find out if you are eligible for our services, including financially eligible.
Next, we find out if your problem is one we can handle.

Interview and information gathering

CMLS may need more information before we can decide if we can help you. We may ask you to send copies of relevant documents or paperwork. If you are involved in a court or administrative agency case that has already started, CMLS will need to know if there is any upcoming court or hearing dates, or other deadline approaching.

Legal services

If you qualify for our services and we have the resources to assist you, we will either:

  • Provide you with legal advice or educational information to help you with the next steps in the legal process;
  • Provide limited services (i.e. assist you with drafting pleadings);
  • Refer you to a volunteer attorney; or
  • Represent you in your legal matter.

For some legal problems, CMLS may be able to provide legal advice the same day  you call to apply for services. If we need more information or documentation regarding your problem, it will take longer to determine whether we can help you.

You can also receive legal assistance through community legal education and brief advice/referral clinics that CMLS hosts in the 21 counties we serve, or through a referral to a court self-help center.

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