Saturday, September 8, 2012

Free Legal Forms (for Some States)

Free legal forms are a sort of Holy Grail on the internet, and a frustrating one to find.  Searches inevitably lead to free forms--that you can get with a credit card.  But there is at least one avenue that I know of, for at least some states. 

LawHelpInteractive is a project of ProBonoNet, a joint project of the Legal Services Corporation and several pro bono nonprofit legal agencies in 26 states the District of Columbia and a few Canadian provinces.  They provide interactive legal forms online in those locales, which walks you through the forms provided (the forms differ from state to state), then provides them in printable form.  You can even get them emailed to you. 

To find help, click the appropriate state, and you will be taken to the legal aid site for that state.  Some will take you directly to the site for forms, some to their overall legal aid site, with easy-to-read information of various topics, where you have to follow the topic to find the form (if they have it).  For instance, the Idaho site takes you straight to the forms, while in Ohio, you go to the Ohio Legal Services site, and the link to local forms takes you to the sites for local courts that have online forms.  If you want a statewide one for healthcare power of attorney, you have to click the "seniors" link, then click the "forms and information" tab at the top of the page.  Each state's legal site is different.  Generally, you find your subject and follow it through till you find a form.  In Texas, clicking the state button for forms leads you to three forms: indigency, uncontested divorce, and protective orders. 

Often, the search leads back to LawHelpInteractive, where you are walked through the various steps of the form, and finish with a complete form. 

Another possibility for free forms is at the website of your local courts.  Some post their forms.  In Ohio, an easy way to find them is this page, in which you put in your zip code or county, and are provided links to the forms page of various courts in your area. Another possibility is Gale Legal Forms.  It's not free, BUT if you local library subscribes to it, you can get their forms free through the library.  For instance, if you have a library card and PIN number for the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, you can access them free through the library's website. 

1 comment:

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