Free, 24/7 legal advice available over your computer, phone or tablet.
It sounds unbelievable, but there are already 500 licensed attorneys waiting to answer your questions.
The Florida Bar and the American Bar Association have partnered to create a free online legal clinic where licensed attorneys volunteer their time to provide emailed responses to citizens’ civil legal questions.
Topics may include family law matters such as divorce, child support, adoption and name change, as well as domestic violence, bankruptcy, consumer issues, education, employment, housing, workers’ compensation, wills and estate planning.
More: Santa Rosa County offers class on backyard chickens
According to Legal Services Corp., 71 percent of low-income households experienced at least one civil legal problem last year, including issues with health care, housing conditions, disability access, veterans’ benefits and domestic violence.
This cooperative effort between The Florida Bar and the American Bar Association “leverages technology to help improve access to justice for those who would otherwise find it out of reach,” according to a press release from The Florida Bar.
There are a few caveats.
You must have an annual household income below 250 percent of federal poverty guidelines — the equivalent of $30,150 for an individual, $40,600 for a family of two or $61,500 for a family of four. In addition, applicants must at least 18 years old, must not be incarcerated and must possess less than $6,000 in total assets.
Here’s how Florida Free Legal Answers works:
The information users provide is confidential, and the answers are not associated with the client’s name. Data will be collected only for data-sharing purposes. Attorneys will see only the information associated with a client’s legal issue.
More: What’s new for Florida’s back-to-school tax-free weekend
Users will not know the name of the attorneys who answer their questions unless the attorneys choose to provide it, a client makes a specific request for the name of the attorney or it is required by a court of law. Volunteer attorneys will not write letters, make phone calls or file documents or attend court proceedings.
Florida lawyers may enroll by visiting florida.freelegalanswers.org, clicking on “Volunteer Attorney Registration” and agreeing to the attorney agreement.