is to protect and enhance the civil legal rights of, and promote systemic change for, Montanans living in poverty.
For over fifty years, the Montana Legal Services Association has helped ensure fairness for all in Montana’s justice system by providing civil, non-criminal legal services to low income Montanans living in all 56 Montana counties and on all Tribal Reservations.
As a private, non-profit law firm, MLSA provides non-criminal legal information, advice, and representation to thousands of Montanans each year. MLSA’s services help fight scams on seniors, assist veterans who have been denied their earned benefits, help people escape abusive relationships, and represent families living in unsafe housing conditions.
“Equal Justice for All” is our shared ideal. Every year, millions walk under these words, engraved into the United States Supreme Court building. Every day, millions of schoolchildren pledge their allegiance to a republic “with liberty and justice for all.” And on countless TV shows, you hear the words, “If you cannot afford an attorney, one will be provided for you.”
Unfortunately, there is no right to an attorney for people facing non-criminal legal problems. For many people, especially those with limited incomes, the high cost of legal assistance can prevent them from obtaining even the most basic access to our court systems.
That’s why MLSA works to provide civil legal aid to low income individuals living throughout Montana – to ensure that equal justice for all is a reality for all Montanans, and not just for those who can afford it.
We utilize a systemic approach to help more than just one client access justice at a time.
Thanks to their support, MLSA has been able to develop exciting and innovative ways to increase access to justice for all Montanans, regardless of income or geographic location.
- Selecting cases focused on issues adversely impacting many people, such as enforcing rights for crime victims.
- Offering programs that reach entire groups of people, such as our self-help website MontanaLawHelp.org and automated legal forms.
- Fostering collaborations with other non-profits and government agencies to exponentially expand impact on all Montanans.