Watch: Jessie’s Story

A women poses with her daughter and grandchildren

After Jessie’s daughter died unexpectedly, all she wanted to do was take the best care possible of her grandson, Griffen. Then she got a letter saying his Social Security payments would be cut off, meaning he would not be able to access special services for his autism. She couldn’t afford an attorney. “I’ve always been …

MLSA Receives Grant for New LGBTQ-Focused Legal Project

MLSA is excited to announced that we recently received a grant from the Pride Foundation, which works to advance equity and justice for LGBTQ+ people in all communities across the Northwest. The grant will fund MLSA’s new TransForm Project, which aims to increase access to the justice system for transgender individuals and allow MLSA to …

MLSA Offers Support for Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Last month, MLSA joined with the National Consumer Law Center and the student Borrower Protection Center to file a brief before the Montana Supreme Court in support of an appeal by James Reavis, who seeks relief after his federal student loan servicer miscounted his student loan payments for eligibility for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness …

New Court Help Connect Program Launching in Rural Montana

MLSA is excited to announce a new self-help program coming to rural communities throughout the state! Developed in conjunction with the Montana Court Help Program and the Office of the Court Administrator, Court Help Connect places computer workstations at libraries and community centers starting in Anaconda and Dillon. The workstations, which include a laptop, printer, …

Increased Services for Domestic Violence Survivors in Helena

Helena- Survivors of domestic violence in the Helena region will soon have more services to help them navigate the legal system to achieve safety for themselves and their children. The Friendship Center recently received a grant from the Office of Violence Against Women Legal Assistance to fund a full-time attorney through a contract with Montana …

Breaking the Cycle of Intimate Partner Violence

For survivors of intimate partner violence, having access to civil legal aid is often essential in allowing them to break the cycle of violence and abuse. MLSA Board Member Alissa Chambers recently shared why she thinks civil legal aid is so important in addressing domestic violence throughout Montana: “As an attorney, I have seen firsthand …

Accessing Justice on Tribal Land

For people living on tribal land throughout the US, figuring out in which court a legal case will be heard can be confusing. A dizzying array of treaties, federal laws and case law determine where a case will be heard and even, in criminal cases, what charges will be filed. In many cases, such as …

MLSA Receives Disaster Preparedness Grant

On June 6, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) announced that the Montana Legal Services Association (MLSA) will receive $250,000 in grant funding to help low-income communities in Montana prepare for, respond to, and recover from natural disasters. Four other civil legal aid organizations in the Midwest – Iowa, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Arkansas – will also …

Free Tax Help for Military Service Members

Under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which went into effect on January 1, 2018, specific changes have been made to the federal tax code that could have special implications for members of the military as they file their 2018 taxes. Specifically, the new tax law has eliminated the deduction for moving expenses — but …

Civil Legal Aid in Action

When Callie first realized she needed legal help, she was desperate. Even though she was only 32, she had been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and was struggling to cope with the treatments.  At the same time, her home life was deteriorating as her husband became increasingly abusive and violent. Callie couldn’t risk losing …