Bay Area Legal Services provides free civil legal help to eligible residents of our five-county service area. We generally assist only applicants who have limited income and assets, and who are permanent legal residents of the United States. However, eligibility exceptions may apply to seniors, domestic violence victims, and certain other qualified applicants.
We provide free interpreters for applicants and clients who do not speak English or have a hearing impairment.
BALS offers applicants the option to apply for our services online or over the telephone (except those applying for help with filing a domestic violence injunction, if you need help with an injunction,click here). The online application can provide Information about whether we can help with your specific legal issue 24 hours a day. To apply online, click the green box labeled "Florida Online Intake" on the side panel to the right.
Alternatively, to find out if you qualify for free legal services and to schedule an appointment over the telephone, call our Legal Aid Line, Monday - Friday, 8:45 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.:
- 813.232.1343 (Hillsborough County residents)
- 1.800.625.2257 (Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, and Sarasota counties)
- 1.800.955.8771 /TTY
The type of services we provide depends on your legal problem and our resources. Our priority areas include:
- Help with Family Law Issues
- Help with Domestic Violence
- Help with Basic Needs
- Help for Seniors
- Advance Planning for Incapacity
- L. David Shear Children’s Law Center
- Judge Don Castor Community Law Center
- Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic
- Fair Housing Initiatives Program
For other resources to assist you with your legal problems and related issues, check our general links. For self-help options, read about our Legal Information Center and Family Forms Clinic. You may also qualify for free online legal advice about basic civil legal questions through Florida Free Legal Answers, a service sponsored by the Florida Bar and the American Bar Association. Click here for eligibility criteria and instructions for accessing help.
What you should expect from us. What we expect from you.
If you have a question about how we handled your application or case, our Appeals Department can assist you.
We provide our services to you in an appropriate language through free oral interpretation and, where required, free translation services.
You can request a reasonable accommodation or auxiliary aids to participate in our services, at no charge, by contacting our ADA Coordinator.
You can obtain information about various EEO provisions by contacting our EEO contact person, Gale B. Pinkston, at 813.752.1335, ext. 110 (Hillsborough County) or 1.800.625.2257, ext. 119 (all other counties) or 1.800.955.8771 /TTY. BALS prohibits discrimination in employment and the delivery of services based on race, color, national origin, familial status, disability, sex, religion, age and military status. Any person who believes he has been discriminated against may contact our EEO contact person.
We have offices located throughout the Tampa Bay area.