Civil Legal Referrals

This civil legal resources referral sheet was created by the Rhode Island Public Defender

Rhode Island Legal Services (RILS)
56 Pine Street, 4th Floor, Providence, RI, 02903 Phone: (401) 274-2652 or (800) 662-5034.
50 Washington Square, Newport, RI, 02840 Phone: (401) 846-2264 or (800) 637-4529.

RILS is the state's major law firm for low-income people with civil legal problems.

Areas of practice: Government benefits (denials and appeals of public assistance -FIP, GPA, food stamps, SSI/SSDI, unemployment benefits, medical assistance and RIte Care), Family law (divorce, custody, and domestic violence), Housing – landlord & tenant law, eviction and foreclosure defense.

Rhode Island Disability Law Center (RIDLC)
275 Westminster Street, Suite 401, Providence, RI, 02903 Voice: (401) 831-3150 | TTY: (401) 831-5335 | FAX: (401) 274-5568 | Clients: (800) 733-5332.

RIDLC provides free legal assistance to persons with disabilities and/or mental illness.

Areas of practice: individual representation to protect rights or to secure benefits and services; self‐help information; educational programs; and administrative and legislative advocacy.

Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP), Rhode Island Bar Association
115 Cedar Street, Providence, RI, 02903 Phone: (401) 421-7758 or (800) 339-7758.

The RI Bar Association's VLP program provides free legal services to qualified low‐income Rhode Islanders. Participating attorneys provide legal assistance, at no charge. Clients may be responsible for filing fees, court costs and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Areas of practice: All areas of civil law

US Armed Forces Legal Services Project, Rhode Island Bar Association
115 Cedar Street, Providence, RI, 02903 Phone: (401) 521-5040.

The US Armed Forces Legal Services Project provides legal assistance to persons actively serving in the military and their families (immediate family only). The Project also works with family members of those who died during their service and non‐active military members who receive a military pension.

Areas of practice: family law, probate issues, landlord/tenant, real estate, contracts, consumer, bankruptcy, collections, employment, immigration/naturalization, and income tax.

Lawyer Referral Service for the Elderly, Rhode Island Bar Association
Phone: (401) 521-5040.

Everyone aged 60 or older is eligible for a free, half-hour consultation with an attorney.

Areas of practice: All areas of civil law.

Homeless Legal Clinic
Various locations; organized by the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless Phone: (401) 721-5685

Homeless Legal Clinics are open to all individuals who are currently homeless or at risk of homelessness. They are hosted by various organizations, such as homeless shelters and soup kitchens and occur several times a month. To find out the month's clinic calendar, go to or call.

Areas of practice: Housing, Social Security, Medical Assistance, veterans' issues, Family Independence Program, court procedures, bankruptcy and identification issues, food stamp benefits, unemployment appeals, general public assistance, and expungement.

Mental Health Advocate Office
57 Howard Avenue, Cranston, RI, 02920 Phone: (401) 462-2003.

Areas of practice: represents patients in court, assists with non‐mental health matters, informs clients of rights, interviews persons with mental health complaints, monitors policies of facilities.

Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)
128 Dorrance St., Ste. 220, Providence, RI, 02903 Phone: (401) 831-7171 or (401) 831-7175.

Rhode Island Affiliate of the ACLU (RIACLU) is dedicated to upholding and protecting the rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The RIACLU fulfils this function in three ways: legislation, litigation and education. The general rule for accepting cases at the RI ACLU is that the cases must involve public entities such as state and local government.

Areas of practice: First Amendment rights (freedoms of speech, press, assembly and religion), the right to due process of law, the right to equal protection of the laws, the right to privacy and open government issues.

Consumer Protection Division, Department of Attorney General
150 South Main Street, Providence, RI, 02903 Phone: (401) 274-4400

The Consumer Protection Unit investigates and mediates consumer complaints concerning unfair and unlawful business practices and misleading advertising arising out of alleged violations of the Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

Areas of practice: Auto repair, sales fraud, lemon law, health club facilities fraud, home construction fraud, retail sales refunds, false or misleading advertising, telephone solicitation licensing, auto service contracts, appliance warranties.

Roger Williams Law Clinic
150 Washington Street, Providence, RI, 02903 Phone: (401) 276-4880

The Roger Williams University Law Clinic is composed of law students under supervision by staff attorneys. The clinic takes a select number of cases during the academic year.

Areas of practice: Immigration, mediation and criminal defense.