Low-Income Genesee Residents Can Ask Lawyers Questions for Free

Low-income residents of Genesee County can now get legal help through a new online tool. MI Free Legal Answers operates like an online legal aid clinic, allowing low-income Genesee County residents to get answers to non-criminal legal questions by logging onto the site from any device at any time. The new site was developed and is sponsored nationally by the American Bar Association and is sponsored in Michigan by the State Bar of Michigan, working in collaboration with the Genesee County Bar Association and Legal Services of Eastern Michigan. The site has launched as a pilot program in Genesee County and may eventually be available to all low-income Michigan residents. The website is free for clients to use and mobile friendly. With funding from the ABA and other national sponsors, SBM pays no cost to participate and offer the website to low-income residents of Genesee County.

Visitors to the site who earn less than 200 percent of the federal poverty limit—about $49,200 for a family of four—can post up to three questions per year to the site and receive answers from licensed Michigan attorneys. Visitors can ask about any non-criminal matter, including questions about divorce, child custody, bankruptcy, credit problems, landlords, land contracts, and more. Attorneys in the program will not represent visitors in court or prepare legal documents, but they will direct users to appropriate legal aid clinics, self-help guides, and other resources.

Visitors and attorneys communicate through a secure messaging portal and can upload documents and photos to help facilitate conversations. All visitor questions and attorney answers are kept completely confidential.

For more information, visit MI Free Legal Answers at https://mi.freelegalanswers.org.