One thing you often hear repeated at A Case for Women is that – aside from voting – the best way to create systemic change is through civil legal action. That is why the law firms in our network practice civil litigation on a contingency-fee basis that pushes negligent institutions to pay the people who have harmed by their products or policies. Civil litigation has enormous power to change corporate behavior and even change laws.
However, not every injury is right for civil litigation. This does not discredit or diminish what you’ve been through: we hear you and we believe you. It also doesn’t mean that you may not have other kinds of legal options, such as criminal action, or other means of getting help.
If we haven’t been able to get you started or you’re coming to us for a situation that doesn’t involve institutional negligence of some sort, please don’t give up! Below are some resources that may help you secure other types of legal representation or guide you to other ways of using your story to make a change.
General Legal Resources
American Bar Association
The American Bar Association (ABA) offers a list of local bar associations that may be able to refer you to relevant resources and lawyers that specialize in your particular issue.
LawHelp.org serves people living on low incomes through providing referrals to local legal aid and public interest law offices, basic information about legal rights, court forms, self-help information, court information, links to social service agencies and more. They were created with the support of the nonprofit Legal Services Corporation and the Open Society Institute. Their site is Spanish-friendly as well.
National Center for State Courts (NCSC)
NCSC offers a list of low cost legal aid and pro-bono resources by state.
WomensLaw.org provides extensive legal info for all genders that covers domestic violence, sexual violence, divorce, custody and other issues. You can sift through state-specific, easy-to-read legal resources on their site or they can use their email hotline to connect with an advocate. They are a project of the nonprofit National Network to End Domestic Violence and most of the site includes Spanish translations.
Resources for Survivors of Domestic Abuse
DV LEAP is a national organization that challenges unjust family violence trial outcomes on a pro-bono basis. They only help with legal appeals of unjust rulings and do not provide legal representation for individuals before there is a final judgment.
National Domestic Abuse Hotline
This national non-profit offers 24/7 chat and phone services in English and Spanish that provide “lifesaving tools and immediate support to empower victims and survivors to find safety and live free of abuse.” While not lawyers, they may also be able to connect you with local legal resources. Their number is 800-656-HOPE. You can also live chat at their site or text LOVEIS to 22522.
Resources for Divorce/Custody/Family Issues
Child Welfare Information Gateway
A service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this site provides an extensive, national resource list of legal organizations that focus on child welfare.
National Family Solutions
National Family Solutions is a national organization that helps parents represent themselves in all types of family law cases. Their team is composed of legal professionals from attorneys and legal document assistants that help prepare paperwork to case managers that provide emotional support and guidance. They also have access to a provider network that includes parenting experts, private investigators and process servers that are able to provide local services on-demand.
Reporting Unsafe Drugs and Medical Devices
MedWatch Online Voluntary Reporting Form
Health professionals, consumers and patients can voluntarily report observed or suspected adverse events for human medical products to FDA. Voluntary reporting can help FDA identify unknown risks for approved medical products and is an essential way to let it be known that a drug is unsafe. (Note – Essure birth control was taken off the market after a group of women got the word out about reporting Essure problems to the FDA!)
Resources for Standing Up to Police Brutality
National Police Accountability Project
Southern Poverty Law Center
Resources for Immigration Issues
National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR)
NIRR has compiled a list of border advocacy groups based all over the country.
The South Texas Pro Bono Asylum Representation Project (ProBAR)
A project of the American Bar Association, ProBAR empowers immigrants with legal education, representation and connections to services. ProBAR serves immigrants in the Rio Grande Valley border region.
Resources for Voting Rights Issues
American Bar Association (ABA)’s list of voting rights resources
Fair Elections Center
A national, nonpartisan nonprofit organization which uses litigation and advocacy to fight for voting access and rights.
Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law
Volunteer to ensure every person’s voice is heart at the polls
USA.gov and US Department of Justice (DoJ)
The US government’s official voting site and the DoJ site have information on your rights and portals for reporting voting violations.
Other Sexual Abuse Resources
National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC)
NSVRC offers a national database with a wide variety of resources for survivors.
Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)
RAINN is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization. They created and operate the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE, online.rainn.org and – for Spanish speakers – rainn.org/es) in partnership with more than 1,000 local sexual assault service providers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help survivors and ensure that perpetrators are brought to justice.
Bail Bond Relief
The Bail Project
Provides bail bond relief to jailed POC’s in 24+ states
Provides bail bond relief to jailed LGBTQ people in 15+ states
Eldercare provides a locator tool with services specifically geared toward the elderly.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
The FTC offers this guide for victims of identity theft.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network
A list of resources for victims of financial fraud and identity theft.
Legal Aid at Work
Legal Aid at Work is committed to strengthening workers’ rights via free clinics, helplines, easy to understand legal info, litigation and policy advocacy. They mainly focus on workplace issues, inclusing discrimination.
National Disability Rights Network
NDRN offers legal referrals for otherly abled folks.
Stateside offers legal help for military members, veterans and their families.
VictimConnect Resource Center
This organization operates a referral helpline where crime victims can learn about their rights and options confidentially. A program of the National Center for Victims of Crime, they offer a traditional telephone-based helpline: 855-4-VICTIM (855-484-2846) and a chat service at Chat.VictimConnect.org.