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CivicCLP: Legal

This guide provides resources to learn more about civic and community engagement through the Library's programs, services and materials. CivicCLP's objective is to connect the community with resources and information that can lead to actionable steps, as

Legal Resources

The resources listed below are some organizations and services that provide free or low-cost legal assistance to individuals and families in our region.  

Due to the uncertainty of funding, staffing, volunteer support, and other factors, CLP cannot guarantee the continual availability of any of the services listed below, although we will regularly update the information provided. This list is a guide to assist in finding legal resources and does not indicate endorsement of or partnership with any service or organization listed. 

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Civic CLP Librarian
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4400 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
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Databases and Websites

Legal Forms  

This database offers hundreds of Pennsylvania legal forms ranging from Adoption to Workers Compensation law, including divorce, real estate, landlord/tenant agreements, wills and other commonly used forms. You will need a library card from any library in Allegheny County to access this database from home. 


PA LawHelp 

PALawHelp.org is a project of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network and the Legal Services Corporation. It is produced in cooperation with Pro Bono Net and legal aid organizations, bar associations, community organizations and government agencies throughout Pennsylvania and the United States. 

Legal Books from our Catalog

The ABA Consumer Guide to Employee Rights

Written by a top employment attorney, this book will help employees understand their rights and what to do if those rights are violated.

Divorce and Money

All the information you need to split your assets, easily and fairly.

Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws

The Essential Guide to Federal Employment Laws explains the 20 most important federal laws dealing with employment issues -- a must-have book for any HR professional, manager or entrepreneur.

Financial Literacy Basics, 2020/21

This new series from Weiss Ratings provides readers with easy-to-understand guidance on how to manage their finances

Get It Together

If you're like a lot of people, you keep important information--from the whereabouts of family heirlooms to online passwords to automatic bill-pay details--in your head or stashed in the odd desk drawer. Get It Together provides an easy, straightforward method to help you and others keep track of your important information, records, and more.

The Legal Answer Book for Families

The quick legal reference for every family. Here, in plain English, are answers to the everyday legal questions that nearly everyone encounters at one time or another. Written by family law experts, this book covers hundreds of legal issues.

Living Together

Laws that protect married couples don't apply to unmarried couples. To define and protect your relationship--and your assets--you need to take specific legal steps and use the right documents. This book covers all the big issues facing unmarried couples living together.

Nolo's Essential Guide to Child Custody & Support

An updated guide for parents and caregivers trying to navigate custody law.

Contact Us

If you represent a provider of social services that we have included in this guide and would like to offer additional information or corrections, please reach out via email to info@carnegielibrary.org . Make sure to mention the “Social Services Library Guide” in the subject of your message. 

If you represent a provider of social services that we have not included, please reach out via email to info@carnegielibrary.org . Make sure to mention the “Social Services Library Guide” in the subject of your message. We will consider the addition of your organization or service and may follow up with additional questions. 

If you find any information provided within is incorrect or out of date and would like to tell us, please reach out via email to info@carnegielibrary.org . Make sure to mention the “Social Services Library Guide” in the subject of your message. 

General Legal Services

Neighborhood Legal Services  

Neighborhood Legal Services provides free civil legal services for low-income individuals in Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Lawrence Counties. Topics include family law, employment law, protection from abuse, public benefits, housing problems, elder law, and consumer & bankruptcy troubles.  

Call between 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. or 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. When you call, an intake worker will speak with you about your problem and determine whether NLSA can provide the support you need. You will then talk with a legal advocate who will provide you with legal information and advice specific to your case.  

You might be referred to an attorney at your local NLSA office. There is also an online intake form here.

Allegheny County Office:  
928 Penn Avenue  

Pittsburgh, PA 15222 

412-255-6700 

Toll Free: 1-866-761-6572   


Modest Means Program - Reduced Fee Lawyer Referral Service  

The Modest Means Program is a project of the Allegheny County Bar Association and links low-income clients with an attorney who can provide services at a reduced fee.  

Topics include divorce, custody, PFA hearings, wills, power of attorney, DUI, retail theft, simple possession, and bankruptcy.  

You will be screened to ensure eligibility. All fees must be paid prior to the attorney completing any work. You can find further information here

400 Koppers Building  
436 Seventh Ave.  

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15219 

412-261-5555 


The Pittsburgh Pro Bono Center  

The Pittsburgh Pro Bono Center is the nexus between the members of the Allegheny County Bar Association, and its 34 projects and member organizations, which provide direct legal services to low-income individuals. The Center's mission is to provide well-trained attorney volunteers to help meet the legal needs of the indigent in Allegheny County.  

They cover many different areas of law such as child custody, child support, housing, immigration. You can find further information here.  

400 Koppers Building  
436 Seventh Avenue  

Pittsburgh, PA 15219 

412-402-6677 


Christian Legal Aid of Pittsburgh  

Christian Legal Aid of Pittsburgh provides free legal clinics offering counsel, guidance, and prayer on civil cases to local individuals whose income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines.  

No appointments necessary. Registration at both clinics is from 6 to 8pm on a first-come, first-serve basis. Bring proof of your income to qualify for assistance.  

You can find further information here. 
Email admin@clapittsburgh.org to schedule an intake.

 

Housing Services

Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh  

Fair Housing Partnership of Greater Pittsburgh offers free advocacy and representation for a Fair Housing Complaint, including filing either an administrative or court case, negotiation or settlement. 

If you feel you have been discriminated against in your rental, sales, mortgage or homeowner’s insurance process, as well as within your unit’s management, Fair Housing Partnership can fight for you up to and including litigation when needed.  

They also offer advocacy for people with disabilities who need reasonable accommodation and/or modification to their housing because of disability.

2840 Liberty Ave Suite 205 
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 

412-391-2535 


Consumer Guide to Tenant and Landlord Rights

The Office of the Attorney General has prepared this Consumer Guide to Tenant and Landlord Rights. The Guide explains what you should know when applying to rent, living in a rented property and dealing with the end of a lease. The Guide also provides information about state and federal resources that can offer additional information or assistance. 


Operation Safety Net HELP (Homeless Experience Legal Protection) Clinic  

Operation Safety Net HELP Clinic provides pro-bono services for the street homeless population once per month.  

Project HELP volunteers can help with: 

  • General legal advocacy and support services 

  • Filing for government benefits, including Social Security 

  • Restoring lost identification, including birth certificates and Social Security cards 

  • Assistance in minor criminal cases. 

Clinics are offered on the 2nd Friday of the month, 9:00 am - 11:00 am by appointment. It is recommended that if a person has a case manager, the case manager should call to make the appointment and provide the participant’s name, birth date, Social Security number, and reason for the visit. You can find further information here.    

249 S. 9th Street  
Pittsburgh, PA 15203 

412-246-2985  

Specialized Legal Resources

Allegheny County Dept. of Human Services: Justice Related Services  

Justice Related Services from the Allegheny County Department of Human Services provides coordination with courts, community services, and local providers to divert individuals with mental illness or co-occurring mental and substance use disorders from incarceration or avoid extended jail stays.  

Services and programs include: Mental Health Court, Drug Court, DUI Court, Children’s Court Services, Independent Living Services, etc.  

You can find further information here.  

412-301-8220 


PA Senior Law Helpline  

The PA Senior Law Helpline is a telephone service offering free legal information, advice, and referrals to senior citizens age 60 and over in Pennsylvania.  

The Helpline offers assistance with many issues including but not limited to consumer problems, estate planning, health care, pensions, housing, family law, and financial exploitation. Interpretation services are available for 150 languages.  

1-877-PA SR LAW or 1-877-727-7529  
(Monday through Thursday, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.)


Women’s Center & Shelter Legal Advocacy and Civil Law Project  

The Women’s Center & Shelter Legal Advocacy and Civil Law Project provides court accompaniment, support, information, and advocacy for domestic violence related cases.  

The Civil Law Project offers specialized expertise in domestic violence cases. You can find further information on this service and file for a PFA (Protection from Abuse) order here. 

412-355-7400  
24-hour helpline: Call-- 412-687-8005, Text-- 412-744-
8445
Toll free: 877-338-TALK (8255) 


Women’s Law Project  

Women’s Law Project is a telephone counseling and referral service which provides callers with free information and guidance on many issues, primarily in the area of family law. You can find further information here. 
412-281-2892 


Pennsylvania Innocence Project

In addition to identifying and litigating cases for the convicted innocent, the Pennsylvania Innocence Project works to improve the criminal justice system to prevent innocent people from being convicted. The Project works to educate all stakeholders in the criminal justice system on the reasons for wrongful convictions, and to promote policies that will prevent such tragedies from occurring. The Project also works to promote legislation to loosen Pennsylvania’s draconian post-conviction laws to allow convicted individuals a fair chance of having evidence of their innocence presented in court – including updating our post-conviction DNA access laws.

After a client is exonerated, the work we do to support them does not end. Our social worker manages and provides reentry services to our clients after they leave prison.

PA Innocence Project
1515 Market St, Suite 300 Philadelphia, PA 19102

or

914 Fifth Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15219

(215) 204-4255

Email Address: innocenceprojectpa@temple.edu

Identification Resources

PA Act 131 of 2020 makes it possible for Pennsylvanians experiencing homelessness to be issued a free initial photo ID or renewal and replace a birth certificate. Individuals interested in ID will be required to apply in person at a PennDOT Driver License Center and must meet identification and other requirements. Individuals interested in a birth certificate must fill out the designated for found here.

For more information on the process and requirements, click here.