A Clearinghouse of Valuable Information
Access Justice (AJ) seeks to be a national resource center for the efforts of social justice-oriented legal professionals. To minimize the all too frequent duplication of effort by different attorneys and public interest professionals working on similar legal issues, AJ has designed an online program, called Re:Sources℠, which will enable attorneys, paralegals, other professionals, community organizations and public interest advocates, as well as ordinary low- and moderate-income people themselves, to access and share information and examples of successful efforts by other similarly situated groups and people throughout the country.
Such a practical clearinghouse is intended to help other legal professionals and their clients to avoid “reinventing the wheel” each time they face a particular legal problem that is being addressed, or may even have been solved, in other communities by other attorneys.
This collaborative program will feature publication online (and eventually a printed version), of a quarterly or bimonthly newsletter focused on practical resources available to help ease the burden and minimize the often substantial legal and related costs that ordinary people typically incur in seeking to resolve important problems affecting their lives. We will dedicate each issue to one of the areas of law that Access Justice is offering its legal services. [see List of Services]
Re:Sources℠ will also include an on-line conferencing capacity, a blog, and other services to enhance its effectiveness as a widely shared tool for both low- and moderate-income clients and other public interest law organizations dedicated to serving them.
Over time, in collaboration with public interest organizations, law schools, law firms and other existing sources of information, Access Justice expects to establish, continually build and to widely share a central data base of case materials, research, forms, pleadings and other practical legal resources available through legal service organizations, government agencies and private firms.
AJ is in the recruiting process for Public interest organizations, Law schools and Law Firms. If you would like your organization to be considered, please contact us.
Taken as a whole, this unique clearinghouse program will allow our targeted client base of ordinary middle class working families and community organizations to tap into and utilize some of the accumulated knowledge and proven strategies used by a wide range of experienced legal professionals to help solve similar, important problems faced by underrepresented people in other Minnesota communities and elsewhere.
Access Justice considers Re:Sources℠ to be particularly relevant during difficult economic times, such as those currently being experienced, when nonprofit public interest law organizations serving the poor and middle class themselves face an environment of reduced and diminishing resources available to perform their valuable work.
Re:Sources℠ is currently under construction as we seek funding support for its establishment. Please bear with us as this exciting program takes shape!
The Twin Cities area (and many areas of Greater Minnesota) is blessed with organizations that provide legal services and information to those having difficulty in accessing them. Access Justice is not here to be in competition with those organizations. Instead, we are in the process of creating collaborative relationships. These organizations provide wonderful services, but, partially because of limitations and regulations attached to funding sources, are not able to serve everyone. Access Justice aims to fill that gap.
Access Justice would like to recognize some of these fine organizations. They are listed below, along with links that will take you to their websites. Some provide assistance, information and referral to people seeking legal services, and some assist lawyers who serve low income people.
Please note: We are continually adding to and updating this page. It is not complete! If you know of an organization that you think should be on this list, please contact us.
The Minnesota Legal Services Coalition (MLSC) is an association of seven Minnesota regional legal services programs. Formed to enhance cooperation and coordination, MLSC supports the regional programs that help low-income Minnesotans with a broad range of civil legal matters.
The associated programs are:
- Judicare of Anoka County
- Anishinabe Legal Services (website under construction),
- Legal Aid Service of Northeastern Minnesota (LASNEM)
- Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota, Inc. (LSNM)
- Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services, Inc. (SMRLS)
- Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance (MMLA)
- Central Minnesota Legal Services (CMLS)
is a very helpful resource that, among other assistance, can help low-income people find answers to their legal questions and legal service for their civil legal problems. They even have a “live chat” feature available.
The state of Minnesota provides excellent criminal legal services to low income persons through its Public Defenders. The offices are organized by county. Their web site, among other items, has a clickable county map that will give you the contact information for the Public Defender Office in your county. You must be income eligible for their services.
has some good, helpful community programs, including a low cost lawyer referral service that includes the first 30 minutes free and a family law program for low income clients.
mission is to provide quality immigration legal services and law-related education to meet the steadily increasing needs of Minnesota’s growing immigrant and refugee communities. They work to support a fair and just immigration process that keeps the American dream alive, embodies the rule of law, and strengthens families and communities across Minnesota.
Tubman Family Alliance and Chrysalis, A Center for Women have merged and renamed their combined organization Tubman. Because families in distress come to them with multiple barriers, Tubman offers support through multiple service areas: safe shelter, legal assistance, counseling, youth and family support and community education.
fills a necessary niche through their services. CLC advocates for foster children through legal representation and systemic reform.
is a great resource for attorneys or other people who want to explore legal information. Their Public Edition provides substantial coverage of Minnesota and federal law and government resources on the Web, and they also have a Subscriber Edition that offers even more.
is Minnesota’s online poverty law resource for pro bono and legal services practitioners, law students, and faculty advising low-income or disadvantaged clients.
Its mission is to advise and represent economically disadvantaged people with legal problems through volunteer attorneys and without charge to the clients. VLN serves people in Hennepin County.