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How to Apply

Bay Area Legal Services 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 Legal Aid Line provides eligibility screening, appointment scheduling, and advice and referrals over the telephone.  If you need additional services, you may be scheduled an office appointment with BALS or one of our regional partners: Gulfcoast Legal Services, Legal Aid of Manasota, and the Community Law Program of St. Petersburg.

Callers may also be scheduled a free evening appointment with a volunteer lawyer through the Bay Area Volunteer Lawyers Program.  Free interpreters are provided during every stage of the application and intake process.  Applications are not accepted over the internet at this time, except from applicants to the Judge Don Castor Community Law Center.

BALS also manages the Florida Senior Legal Helpline, a free statewide telephone advice and referral service for Florida residents aged 60 and older who live outside of Hillsborough and Pasco counties. If you qualify for this program, call 1.888.895.7873, Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. to request an appointment.

We provide free interpreters for applicants and clients who do not speak English or have a hearing impairment.