MESSAGES OF EDUCATIONAL SPEECH
New phone service offers free legal aid for low-income new Mexicans
The Employment Rights Helpline is a partnership of the New Mexico Access to Justice Commission, the Office of Court Administration and the State Bar of New Mexico and the State Bar Foundation. It operates from 8 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. Help can be called at 505-797-6013 or 888-856-9935.
Two staff attorneys provide legal advice over the phone and for more legal help the Helpline can refer people to private attorneys across the state who offer free legal services. to those in need.
“This program fills an important void in the justice system, providing assistance to people who may not be eligible for other services like those through New Mexico Legal Aid,” said Erin O’Connell, Deputy Judge of the Court of Appeal of the Law Enforcement Commission.
New Mexicans with incomes between 200 percent and 500 percent of the federal poverty level are eligible for legal assistance through the Helpline. The program also serves people who cannot be helped by the New Mexico Legal Aid Volunteer Attorney Program because of a problem of interest. The legal aid program, for example, cannot represent both parties involved in litigation.
“This Helpline is a convenient way for many New Mexicans to access legal services when they cannot afford an attorney,” said Supreme Court Chief Justice C. Shannon Bacon. . “Help is a phone call for many civil law issues, whether it’s a family relationship for grandparents who want to raise grandchildren or someone dealing with foreclosure or debt collection. .”
People 55 and older who need legal help should call the State Bar Foundation’s Legal Resources for the Elderly Program (505-707-6005 or 800-876-6657) instead of the Modest Means Helpline. The ten-year program has no income restrictions and is a joint initiative of the Bar Foundation and the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department.
“Expanding access to free and low-cost legal resources is important for New Mexicans to meet their civil legal needs, including assistance in family matters such as child support children and child care as well as safe houses and financial protections,” said Richard Spinello, executive director of the State Bar.
Click here for a list of legal resources available online.