Before calling us for help, please review Frequently Asked Questions to learn more about our process for accepting clients and whether you may be eligible for our services.
If you feel you are in immediate danger, please call emergency services, by dialing 911. For other urgent situations, please call the United Way’s Hotline for community resources by dialing 211, or visit their website by clicking here.
If you want to seek legal help for a civil problem (no criminal work) from LSEM, please either call us for help during business hours, or begin your request for assistance now with an online application:
- To start a new online application or to check the status of your prior online application, CLICK HERE at any time (please note the application is only available in English).
- To call LSEM, dial (314) 534-4200 or toll free at 1-800-444-0514.
- Intake hours are Monday -Thursday, 8:30 A.M.-3:30 PM; and Fridays 1:30 P.M.- 3:30 PM.
- When you talk to our receptionist, briefly state the type of legal problem you are having. You may request an interpreter, if needed, for non-English speaking applicants or for hearing-impaired applicants.
- If yours is a legal problem that we handle, she will transfer your call to the Advocacy and Referral Team (ART) to determine if you are eligible for services, or to the appropriate intake personnel if your problem is in another area, such as Immigration or Medicaid Managed Care.
- If your call for assistance is not answered by a live person, please leave a voicemail message with:
- Your first, middle and last name, with correct spelling
- A telephone number where we can call you back, a good time to reach you, and whether it is safe to leave a message for you. This wil help us reach you safely. If you do not tell us it is a safe number, we will call you back, but will not leave a message. If you don't have a voicemail, or an answering machine, to recieve messages, you will have to call us back again to seek help.
- The type of civil (non-criminal) problem your are having (e.g. eviction, divorce, Medicaid denial, debt collection, business issue, etc.)
- Any court or hearing date involved, or if you have been served with any documents, and the date you were served.
- If you feel your case is an emergency, please tell us and explain why.
LSEM welcomes diversity in our clients, workplace and community partners. Resources permitting, we provide civil legal assistance to eligible persons regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, ancestry, religion, gender orientation (LGBTQ), age, disability, marital status, or status as a veteran.
What to expect next:
Whether after a call, or after an online application, an intake paralegal will contact you to collect financial and other information to determine if you are eligible for LSEM services. If you are determined to qualify for services, your request for assistance will move on to the second step:
- An advocate who specializes in the area of law you need assistance in will review your situation and let you know the level of service that can be provided to you.
- They may need to collect more information from you.
- Due to limited resources, many applicants recieve "counsel and advice" by telephone or letter regarding their legal situation, and how they might help themselves, but we may not be able to represent you in court.
- Your advocate will let you know what level of service we are able to provide to you.
Please Note the following:
LSEM must handle its calls like a hospital emergency room. Urgent problems that affect safety and/or court deadlines must come first.
Due to our need to handle these priority situations first, it may be 1-4 business days before an ART member calls you back.
There are over 280,000 low-income persons eligible for our services throughout 21 counties. Sadly, like many charitable organizations, LSEM gets calls from at least twice the number of people that we are able to assist. We are trying to raise money everyday, so we can help more people.
To start a new online application or to check the status of your prior online application, CLICK HERE at any time (please note the application is only available in English).
If you have additional questions about our process
that were not answered here, please visit Frequently Asked Questions.