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Where to Go for Help If You Cannot Afford a Lawyer

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You may not be able to afford to pay a lawyer to represent you. If so, you may be able to get free help or you may be able to represent yourself in court. Some resources are:

Low-Income Legal Services

Legal Aid of Nebraska
To see if you qualify for Legal Aid of Nebraska’s services, you may apply online or by calling the AccessLine ®:

  • (402) 348-1060 AccessLine ® if you live in the Douglas Co. area
  • (877) 250-2016 AccessLine® if you live outside the Douglas Co. area
  • (800) 527-7249 Elder AccessLine ® if you are 60 and over
  • (800) 729-9908 Native American AccessLine ® if you are Native American

Nebraska State Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer Project
You can call the Nebraska State Bar Association Volunteer Lawyer’s Project toll-free at (800) 742-3005 to see if you qualify for assistance. If you live in Lincoln, call (402) 475-7091.

Law School Legal Clinics

  • University of Nebraska College of Law Legal Clinic:  A limited number of cases are accepted by the UNL Legal Clinic. Clients are represented by students under the supervision of College of Law faculty. The telephone number is (402) 472-3271.
  • Creighton University School of Law Legal Clinic:  For Douglas County residents only. Call the Clinic at (402) 280-3068 between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday. A limited number of cases are accepted by the Creighton Legal Clinic. Clients are represented by students under the supervision of Law School faculty.

Self-Help Centers

There are Self-Help Centers in Lincoln, Omaha, Madison, and the Kearney/Grand Island area operated by volunteer lawyers which may be able to be of assistance to you. The centers do not offer assistance with criminal cases and questions are not taken by phone. Centers are coordinated by the Nebraska State Bar Association Director of Legal Services. Legal information, assistance with forms, and brief legal advice is provided through the centers which are opened limited hours (see below).

  • Lincoln (Lancaster County) 

    Open Monday 10-2, Thursday 9-1

    Guardian/Conservator assistance with annual accountings and reports: 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month, from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

    The Self-Help Desk is located off the Jury Lounge on the third floor at the Lancaster County Courthouse at 575 South 10th Street in Lincoln. No appointments are needed and individuals are offered assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Omaha (Douglas County)

    Open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

    Guardian/Conservator assistance with annual accountings and reports: 2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month, from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    The Self-Help Desk is located in the Douglas County Law Library. Follow the connector-hallway between the Douglas County Courthouse and the 1st Floor Hall of Justice, 17th and Farnam in Omaha. For questions or further information, call the Library at (402) 444-7174.
     
  • Northeast Nebraska (Madison County) 

    Open the third Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    The Self-Help Desk is located on the north side of the Courthouse, 1313 North Main Street, in Madison. Individuals needing assistance should check-in with the Clerk of the District Court’s Office (first office at the courthouse entrance). No appointments are needed and individuals are offered assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.
     
  • Tri City Centers (Hastings, Grand Island, Kearney) 

    Grand Island Office: Open Fridays from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

    Guardian/Conservator assistance with annual accountings and reports:  throughout open hours on Fridays 

    The Self-Help Desk is located on the lower level of the Hall County Courthouse (across from Courtroom #3) at 111 West First Street in Grand Island. No appointments are needed and individuals are offered assistance on a first-come, first-served basis. 

    Kearney Office: Open the first Friday of the month from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

    The Self-Help Desk is located in the Buffalo County Courthouse, 1512 Central Avenue in Kearney. Individuals needing assistance should check-in with the Clerk of the District Court’s Office, window #4. No appointments are needed and individuals are offered assistance on a first-come, first-served basis.

Legal Aid of Nebraska's Access to Justice (A2J) Center

Legal Aid of Nebraska’s A2J Center is a self-help center in Douglas County where low-income people can access legal resources including computers, forms, and self-help clinics.

It is located in Omaha at 1904 Farnam Street on the first floor.  Call (402) 348-1069, or toll-free at (888) 991-9921, or, visit our website at www.legalaidofnebraska.com to find out more information.

Libraries

  • State Library
    You can go to the State Library if you need access to legal resources including using the internet to do legal research. The State Library is located in room 325 at the State Capitol Building in Lincoln.  The telephone number is (402) 471-3189.

  • Public Libraries
    Your local public library may have some resources and public access to computers and the internet. To find your local library, click the link above.

  • University of Nebraska College of Law Library
    The UNL College of Law Library is located on the east campus of UNL. The Law library has one public access computer for members of the public to conduct legal research. The general telephone number to the law school is (402) 472-2161.

  • Creighton University Law School Library
    The Creighton Law School Library has public access computers available for legal research. Reference assistance is also available.  The general library telephone number is (402) 280-2875. The Law Library is open to the general public with legal research needs from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday while school is in session. Hours may vary during breaks and over the summer. It is located in Omaha on the corner of 21st and Cass Streets on the second floor of the Ahmanson Law Center.

Referral Services

Referrals to private attorneys are available. Private attorneys may charge for their services.

  • Nebraska State Bar Association Lawyer Referral
    The Lawyer Referral Service is provided by the NSBA for individuals who need a lawyer licensed to practice in the State of Nebraska and are not familiar with the legal community.  If you live in Lincoln call (402) 475-7091,  or if you live outside Lincoln call  toll-free at (800) 927-0117.
  • Omaha Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service
    The service refers callers to private practicing attorneys in Douglas and Sarpy counties. For more information call  (402) 280-3603 or visit the link above.

This page was last modified on Thursday, August 29, 2013