Looking for Legal Help in North Carolina?
The UNC School of Law Clinical Programs allows second and third-year law students to assist low-income residents of North Carolina with their legal issues.
Our Civil Legal Assistance Clinic, Consumer Financial Transactions Clinic, Critical Race Lawyering Civil Rights Clinic, Domestic and Sexual Violence Clinic, Immigration Clinic, and Youth Justice Clinics receive their cases from referring organizations. These clinics do not accept cases from the public. People looking for help with these issues should select one of the options below to seek legal help.
If you are a former servicemember seeking assistance with a discharge-status upgrade, please call our Military and Veterans Law Clinic at 919-962-2888 (Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.). If you are a former servicemember but your issue does not involve your discharge status, please select “I am a servicemember or former servicemember” below.
The UNC Law Institute for Innovation houses the Startup NC Law Clinic, the Intellectual Property Clinic, and the Community Development Law Clinic. If you are looking for assistance related to a business or nonprofit venture, please call 919-445-0695 to speak with someone from the Institute for Innovation (Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–5 p.m.).
We hope you find a resolution to your situation.
Please note that the following links and telephone numbers are strictly for information purposes. The UNC School of Law Clinical Programs neither endorses nor has any formal affiliation with the organizations listed below.
The North Carolina Bar Association publishes a series of pamphlets called “This Is The Law,” which address a variety of topics, including family law issues, tenant rights, bankruptcy, and worker’s compensation. The website LawHelpNC.org also offers free information about a wide variety of criminal and civil legal questions. Finally, the Caselaw Access Project allows users to search for published court decisions online for free.
If you would like to speak to an attorney for a free, 10-minute phone call, please visit NC Free Legal Help. This website has a database of 500+ attorneys who have agreed to provide free initial legal information via phone or email.
The American Bar Association also operates a service called Free Legal Answers, a virtual legal-advice clinic. You may ask a non-criminal legal question, and a volunteer attorney will answer via email. Your income must fall below a certain level to use this free service.
Unfortunately, many legal questions do not have quick answers. You may still need to retain a lawyer using the other resources found on this page.
Contact the North Carolina Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service (1-800-662-7660 or 919-677-8574) for a referral to an attorney who will offer you an initial 30-minute consultation for $50. If you don’t know what type of lawyer you need, the Lawyer Referral Service staff will assist you.
The UNC Clinical Programs does not represent current students. If you need legal assistance, please contact Carolina Student Legal Services (919-962-1303) for legal advice or representation.
The Legal Aid of North Carolina Senior Law Project runs a free legal helpline for North Carolina residents over 60. Call 1-877-579-7562 any weekday between 9–11a.m. or 1–3 p.m.
Two other local law schools run clinics specifically aimed at meeting the legal needs of North Carolinians over 60. To contact the Campbell University Senior Law Clinic, call 919-865-4693. To contact the Wake Forest University Elder Law Clinic, print and return the eligibility questionnaire or apply for help online.
Thank you for your service. Unfortunately, we are currently only able to assist low-income former servicemembers who have issues related to their discharge type or characterization. If your issue relates to your discharge type or characterization, call the UNC Military and Veterans Law Clinic at 919-962-2888 (Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.).
Other organizations that assist qualifying North Carolinians at little to no cost with discharge type and characterization issues include:
- North Carolina Legal Aid Veterans Law Project: 866-219-5262
- Wake Forest University School of Law Veterans Legal Clinic: 336-758-2431
- Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy (services typically limited to low-income residents of Mecklenburg, Cabarrus, and Union Counties): 704-376-1600
- The Veterans Consortium Discharge Upgrade Program: 202-733-3324
The following people should contact their military branch’s nearest Legal Assistance Office for help with legal issues.
- Servicemembers currently serving in an Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard status
- Family members of servicemembers currently serving in Active Duty, Reserve, or National Guard status
- Military retirees
If you are looking to file an initial claim for benefits with the Department of Veterans Affairs, we recommend that you first contact a Veterans Service Organization (VSO).
If you are looking to appeal your Veterans Claim with the Board of Veterans’ Appeals (BVA) or Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims (CAVC), the Veterans Consortium Pro Bono Program (202-628-8164), may be able to provide assistance.
Many other local and national organizations offer legal services to current and former servicemembers who need assistance, including financial and housing assistance. For example, the organization America Serves has branches throughout North Carolina. The Raleigh branch, NCServes Central Carolina, can be reached by calling 1-866-249-6656.
For other legal issues, Stateside Legal maintains a directory of legal organizations that assist servicemembers and former servicemembers. The American Bar Association Home Front also offers information and legal help for current and former servicemembers and their families.
Current or former servicemembers in crisis should contact the confidential Veterans Crisis Line (1-800-273-8255) to speak with a trained responder.
Legal Aid of North Carolina helps with family law matters through two self-help clinics: Simple Divorce and Child Custody and Visitation. Self-help clinics are held about once a month in locations throughout the state, and participants should register in advance. If you are unable to attend in person, you can download an information packet and watch a recording of the clinics on YouTube. Legal Aid may be able to offer additional help via their toll-free helpline (1-866-219-5262).
The North Carolina Central University Family Law Clinic also helps clients and community members with various family law issues. Call 919-530-6615 for assistance. If your issue relates to child custody, you can apply online to participate in the clinic’s “File It Yourself” program.
If your family law issue involves domestic violence, please select “I need help related to domestic violence, sexual violence, or stalking” below for additional resources.
If you are looking for help with a Domestic Violence Protection Order (“restraining order”), contact Legal Aid of North Carolina (1-866-219-5262).
If you are looking for immigration assistance (VAWA, U Visa, T Visa) related to the violence you have experienced, contact the Legal Aid Battered Immigrant Project (1-866-204-7612). The project accepts calls on Tuesdays (3:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.) and Thursdays (9 a.m.–1 p.m.).
If you live in Orange County, you may contact the Compass Center (919-929-7122) for other services related to domestic and sexual violence. If you live outside of Orange County, consult the North Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence for a list of domestic violence service providers in North Carolina.
If you think you’ve been the victim of a scam, contact the NC Attorney General’s consumer hotline at 1-877-5-NO-SCAM (1-877-566-7226) or 919-716-6000. You may also file a consumer complaint online.
You may also wish to file a complaint with a national agency, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The CFPB will work with the company to try to get a resolution within 15 days.
Legal Aid of North Carolina offers help with a variety of consumer-related issues. For issues such as mortgage or foreclosure, auto, debt collection, and unfair/deceptive trade practices, call the Legal Aid helpline (1-866-219-5262) or apply for help online.
You can find a list of local consumer attorneys registered with the National Association of Consumer Advocates using the list on the NACA website.
You can find information about local consumer bankruptcy attorneys registered with the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys using the NACBA Member Database.
If you are at risk of foreclosure, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development offers a list of approved housing-counseling organizations.
Legal Aid of North Carolina offers help with a variety of housing-related issues. For issues related to evictions, habitability, and termination of housing subsidies, call the Legal Aid helpline (1-866-219-5262). For issues specifically involving housing discrimination, contact the Legal Aid Fair Housing Project (1-855-797-3247).
Legal Aid also runs Self-Help Tenant Rights clinics. Self-help clinics are held about once a month in locations throughout the state, and participants should register online in advance. If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch a recording of the clinic on YouTube.
If you are at risk of foreclosure, consult this list of housing counseling organizations approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Legal Aid of North Carolina also offers help with issues related to mortgage or foreclosure, auto, debt collection, and unfair/deceptive trade practices. To request help, call the Legal Aid helpline (1-866-219-5262) or apply for help online.
If you are a farmer or landowner at risk of losing your land, contact the Land Loss Prevention Project (1-800-672-5839).
Legal Aid of North Carolina offers help with a variety of employment-related issues, including unemployment compensation and wage theft. Call the Legal Aid helpline (1-866-219-5262).
Legal Aid of North Carolina also runs Self-Help Employee Rights clinics. Self-help clinics are held about once a month in locations throughout the state, and participants should register online in advance. If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch a recording of the clinic on YouTube.
The UNC Law student organization Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) provides free income-tax filing assistance to low- and middle-income taxpayers in Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina. You may make an appointment to meet with a law student during February, March, or April.
If you are involved in a tax dispute with the IRS, such as an audit or appeal, you may wish to contact the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic at the North Carolina Central School of Law. The IRS also publishes a list of Low Income Taxpayer Clinics across the country.
The U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants offers low-cost immigration legal services in Raleigh, North Carolina. Call 919-334-0072.
The North Carolina Justice Center operates a helpline for immigration legal assistance on Tuesdays from 9am –1pm. Call 1-888-251-2776.
If you have experienced domestic or sexual violence, contact the Legal Aid Battered Immigrant Project (1-866-204-7612). The project accepts calls on Tuesdays (3:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.) and Thursdays (9 a.m.–1 p.m.).
For a list of nonprofits that accept immigration cases in North Carolina, please consult the Immigration Advocates National Immigration Legal Services Directory. For a list of private immigration attorneys, please consult the AILA Immigration Lawyer Search.
If you are seeking asylum in the United States, you may wish to review this list of free resources compiled by Penn State Law’s Center for Immigrants’ Rights Clinic.
Finally, if you are considering hiring or retaining an attorney to assist in your immigration case, you may wish to review these videos (from the organization Ayuda), which offer tips about how to avoid being a victim of immigration-services fraud (“notario fraud”).
The North Carolina Office of Indigent Defense Services maintains a directory of Public Defenders for all districts in North Carolina.
Legal Aid of North Carolina helps with criminal record expunctions through its Self-Help Criminal Record Expunction clinics, online self-help materials, and toll-free helpline (1-866-219-5262). Self-help clinics are held about once a month in locations throughout the state, and participants should register online in advance. If you are unable to attend in person, you can may review relevant information online and watch a recording of the clinic on YouTube.
The Southern Coalition for Social Justice (919-323-3380) runs the Clean Slate Project, which also assists with expunctions.
The UNC Innocence Project partners with the NC Center on Actual Innocence to assist prisoners and their family members in challenging wrongful convictions. Please visit the North Carolina Center on Actual Innocence website to read about how to submit a claim.
North Carolina Prisoner Legal Services (919-856-2200) assists incarcerated people in correcting errors in their convictions and sentences. They also assist with prisoners’ civil rights claims such as use of force by prison staff, dangerous prison conditions, inadequate medical care, religious freedom, and free-speech issues.
You may request help from the American Civil Liberties Union of North Carolina by using this online form or by sending a letter to PO Box 28004, Raleigh, NC 27611. You might also try contacting the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights (202-662-8600), a national organization that has an office in Chapel Hill.
If you are a first responder, you may be eligible to attend a “Wills for Heroes” clinic hosted by the North Carolina Bar Foundation. See available dates and sign up here.
Legal Aid of North Carolina also helps with wills, living wills, and powers of attorney. Call the helpline (1-866-219-5262) or apply online.
Legal Aid of North Carolina runs Self-Help Health Care POA & Living Wills Clinics. Self-help clinics are held about once a month in locations throughout the state, and participants should register online in advance. If you are unable to attend in person, you can watch an instructional video on YouTube.
For free help enrolling in affordable health insurance on the Health Insurance Marketplace, contact the NC Navigator Helpline at 1-855-733-3711 or make an appointment online.
If you are looking for help with a case involving medical malpractice or a wrongful death, you may need to retain a private attorney using the Lawyer Referral Service (1-800-662-7660). Please be advised that many attorneys take these cases on a contingency basis, meaning that you may not be required to pay unless you win your case.
If you are living with HIV or cancer and are experiencing legal problems related to your diagnosis, please contact the Duke Law Health Justice Clinic (919-613-7169).
For an extensive list of low-cost healthcare providers and health-related legal services in the Triangle Area, refer to this publication by the Carolina Health Law Organization.
The North Carolina State Bar offers formal and informal solutions to disputes between attorneys and clients. Learn more about the Attorney-Client Assistance Program and the Fee Dispute Resolution Program. Learn how you can file a formal grievance with the North Carolina State Bar.
Legal Aid of North Carolina assists with a wide variety of legal issues beyond those listed here. Access a full list of the services Legal Aid offers. You may contact Legal Aid via their helpline (1-866-219-5262) or by applying for assistance online.
The North Carolina Justice Center (919-856-2162) may also be able to take some civil litigation cases.
If you live in the Charlotte area, you may be able to obtain assistance from the Charlotte Center for Legal Advocacy by calling 704-376-1600.