Public Inquiry FAQs

The American Bar Association and the Criminal Justice Section sponsor a number of programs to improve the criminal justice system, but are not able to help people with specific legal problems or cases. Neither the Association or the Section are able to refer you to an attorney.

There are many local programs that are designed to help people to find an attorney, or to otherwise obtain assistance with legal problems. We suggest that you pursue one of the following alternatives:

1. If you need assistance in finding and hiring an attorney with appropriate expertise:

Consult the closest program listed in The Association's online list of Public Service Lawyer Referral Programs.

Seek assistance from a prepaid legal services plan. Online information about such plans can be obtained here.

Use the Association's Consumer's Guide to Legal Help service.

2. If you cannot afford to hire a lawyer:

Contact the staff legal aid office in your area. Most such offices are funded through the federal Legal Services Corporation, and comprehensive information can be found using this link. You may also wish to look under "Legal Aid" in your local telephone book.

Contact a local pro bono program -- an organization in your area that links low-income people with private lawyers who have volunteered to take cases without charge. 

Can the Criminal Justice Section help me with regard to filing a complaint against an attorney, or discipline an attorney for misconduct?

The Section is not involved in any way with licensing or disciplining attorneys. If you believe that a lawyer you have hired has engaged in serious misconduct, contact the lawyer disciplinary agency for your state. See Listing of Agencies

See also the ABA's Resources for the Public