The legal services programs in Connecticut
are a group of nonprofit organizations which provide
legal assistance in urgent civil matters to low-income
persons. Services are free. Eligibility depends upon
income, family size, assets and legal issue.
The legal services programs focus
their resources on priority issues - civil legal problems
which harm their clients most and about which they can
be most helpful. Examples include helping victims of
domestic violence, elderly people facing nursing home
problems, families in danger of homelessness, and people
with disabilities seeking help with basic needs.
The programs only assist low-income
people - households that are near or below the federal
Working Together: The programs
work together to advocate for (and with) people who
are low income, on a variety of issues. In addition
to individual legal advice and representation, the legal
services programs help clients, community groups, and
providers through free trainings, pamphlets and other
Information on how to apply for
assistance can be found at www.slsct.org.
The legal services system includes
the following programs:
Legal Services, Inc.
Connecticut Legal Services (CLS) provides legal
representation to low-income persons throughout
the state, except those living in the greater Hartford
or New Haven areas.
Hartford Legal Aid, Inc.
The Greater Hartford Legal Aid program (GHLA) provides
legal representation to low-income persons who live
in the greater Hartford area.
Haven Legal Assistance Association
New Haven Legal Assistance Association (LAA) provides
legal services to low-income persons in the greater
New Haven and lower Naugatuck Valley areas.
Several smaller legal services agencies
also addressing specific civil legal needs of low-income
people in Connecticut:
Connecticut Legal Rights Project, Inc. helps
solve civil law problems for adults who have, or
are perceived to have, a psychiatric disability.
Connecticut Fair Housing Center ensures
that all people have equal access to housing
Center For Children's Advocacy promotes and
protects the legal rights and interests of poor
children dependent upon the judicial, child welfare,
health and mental health, education, and juvenile
justice systems for their care.
Children's Law Center of Connecticut, Inc. provides
indigent children with representation on family
matters in the Hartford, Putnam, and Rockville courts.
For Children America matches pro bono lawyers
with abused and neglected children in need of legal
Note: The legislative appropriation
of funds sought by The Equal Access to Justice Coalition
would support increased client assistance by the programs
listed above. It would not be used to support the remaining
programs described below, which are not funded by the
Connecticut Bar Foundation.
Statewide Legal Services (SLS) is available by
phone to clients throughout Connecticut. Generally,
is the entry point for accessing legal assistance.
SLS may provide advice over the phone, mail information,
or refer clients to a legal services office or
private attorney at no cost to the client.
Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut
The Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut
(LARCC) coordinates publications, policy advocacy
and staff training for the legal services programs.
In addition, LARCC sponsors the Connecticut Alliance
for Basic Human Needs (CABHN), a statewide advocacy
network. CABHN publishes a free monthly newsletter
and conducts community outreach and education.
Connecticut Bar Association-Sponsored Pro Bono Program
Private lawyers working within the Connecticut Bar
Association's Law Works For People program handle
civil law referrals for low-income families and individuals.