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What Is Legal Aid?

DISCLAIMER: This is intended to be an educational and informational guide.  It is not intended to be or to substitute for legal advice and representation.  Law, legal requirements, and procedures vary from place to place.  It is advisable to consult an attorney.

What is the Legal Aid Society?

A not-for-profit corporation founded in 1958 by the Evansville Bar Association to provide, at no cost to the client, legal advice and representation to qualifying low income residents of Vanderburgh County in select civil matters.  LAS is funded by the City of Evansville, County of Vanderburgh, United Way of Southwestern Indiana Inc., and the Indiana Civil Legal Aid Fund.  LAS is governed by a Board of Directors.  Six board members are attorneys appointed by the Evansville Bar Association, three members are non-attorneys appointed by the Mayor, and three members are non-attorneys appointed by the County Commissioners.

Who may be eligible for services?

  • Applicants living in Vanderburgh County,
  • with cases in Vanderburgh County,
  • whose households meet the required financial guidelines,
  • whose representation does not cause a conflict of interest,
  • whose cases are of a type handled by the office, and
  • who meet the legal, technical, and residency requirements.

How does an applicant contact the Legal Aid Society?

LAS is located in room 105 of the Administration Building in the Civic Center. The telephone number is 812-435-5173. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Messages can be left on the answering machine at all times. LAS's fax number is 435-5220. LAS's e-mail address is The Vanderburgh County holiday schedule is observed.

How does an applicant ask the Legal Aid Society for help?
Please call between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. Monday through Friday or visit the office between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. during any work day to complete an application for services. It is helpful to have court papers and any court dates available. The applicant must fully and honestly state the total income of every person in the household.  The applicant should call as soon as the problem arises. If the applicant waits too long to contact LAS, the attorneys may not be able to schedule an appointment or represent the applicant in court and important legal time limits may expire.  Once an application is completed, the applicant may call back on the following work day between 8:00 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to check if the application was accepted.  If the application has been accepted, an appointment will be made for the applicant to meet with a licensed attorney. Please bring all court papers, court dates, receipts, pictures, documents, contracts, complete names and addresses of witnesses, and all related information to the appointment.  Applications are not taken by e-mail.

Who pays for the service?

There is no charge to the client for the legal advice and representation given by LAS. Sometimes a fee must be paid to other sources, such as to file a lawsuit, to serve papers on another party, or to obtain reports and records. Often the client has to pay these fees. However, an applicant should not fail to ask for help for this reason.

What responsibilities does the Legal Aid Society client have?

The client must be on time for office appointments and court appearances and fully cooperate with the attorney handling the case. The client must assist in the preparation of the case and must be truthful and honest at all times. LAS must be notified of the client's address, telephone number, place of employment, and any other relevant information. The client must disclose all facts to the attorney and let the attorney decide which are pertinent to the case. What is told to LAS by a client is confidential and cannot be told to other persons without the client's permission. LAS reserves the right to refuse to represent or advise clients who do not follow these rules, and to withdraw from representing clients who do not follow the rules.