where can I find free support?
By Severine Burel – Updated July 8, 2022
They offer the possibility of consulting a lawyer free of charge during permanence. Each department has a free public service for access to law.
This allows everyone, especially those with low resources, to obtain general information on their rights and obligations, free legal assistance and/or free consultation with a lawyer.
We detail in this article the organizations that allow you to obtain free legal advice (house of justice and law, the courts, etc.), but also through your insurance contracts (home, car, etc.).
Each department offers solutions to benefit from free consultation of lawyers and legal advice. They are organized to allow everyone access to rights. For this, 3 public institutions offer hotlines:
Apart from the 3 institutions for justice put in place for access to the law for all, it is possible to consult a lawyer for free:
The courts have been clogged for many years. This is why relay points for listening, local advice, legal assistance and assistance to victims have been set up in the departments. They guide people who encounter legal and administrative difficulties in order to promote amicable conciliation. Finding a free lawyer is possible.
But beware, in any case, this is advice and this does not replace the follow-up of a case by a lawyer. If you are having financial difficulties, but need a lawyer, you will have to turn to legal aid.
You can also consult a lawyer by telephone on 01 75 75 63 68 (price of a local call then from €2.80 per minute). Read the article on how to contact a lawyer by email or phone to know more. Moreover, depending on the nature of your problem, do not hesitate to use our forum where a member of the community will try to help you for free.
The MJDs were created in 1998 in the districts of the big cities in order to allow judicial proximity. They guarantee everyone access to justice. Consult MJD contact details.
They are under the authority of the public prosecutor and the president of the High Court where they are located. More than 130 houses of justice and law are present throughout France.
It coordinates the various partners in order to take part in the prevention of delinquency and provides assistance to victims if necessary.
It connects several partners :
- The magistrates
- Local elected officials
- The police men
- Local associations
- Social workers
It offers “alternative” methods of conflict resolutionthat is to say by favoring amicable settlements without systematically going through the judicial system.
- At the penal level : implementation of action to prevent delinquency and alternative measures to legal proceedings such as penal mediation and reminder of obligations.
- At the civilian level : it allows amicable mediation of everyday conflicts such as neighborhood problems, housing problems, etc.
The MJDs provide free legal advice services provided by legal professionals with lawyers and legal advisers.
The departmental centers for access to law (CDAD) are public bodies present in each department. Their purpose is to inform people of their rights and duties and to guide them through administrative procedures.
They are chaired by the president of the Tribunal de Grande Instance (TGI). You can find all the CDADs here.
They bring together different partners from local life :
- Legal professionals: lawyers, notaries, bailiffs
- The General Council and the Regional Council
- Associations in the field of justice: assistance to victims, right to housing, defense of the rights of foreigners
- The prefect of the department
The departmental centers for access to law aim to provide information on the different places of mediation, to direct people towards the different organisations. They allow :
- Assistance in non-judicial proceedings: if it is a judicial procedure, you can a request for legal aid. It makes it possible to cover all or part of the legal costs incurred
- a free legal consultation
- Assistance in legal acts: drafting of acts
A free legal service is organized in each department. To find out the days and times, check with the CDAD on which you depend.
Access points to rights are located in neighborhoods and rural localities. They welcome anonymously and free of charge the public during permanence. Noting that an area of the department is not suitably served, the departmental council can decide to create a PAD.
The free hotlines are held by :
- justice conciliators
- Delegates from the Mediator of the French Republic
- Representatives of the City Mediator
The PADs can be placed under the responsibility of the CDAD or be located in places open to the public such as town halls, hospitals, etc.
The missions of the access point to the law :
- Awareness-raising actions: particularly among young people
- Permanences of public writers
- Wide dissemination of information with the establishment of “Minibus” for example which goes to meet the inhabitants
- Reception of people who encounter legal or administrative problems
To find the PAD closest to you, you can consult the directory on this page. Hotlines offer free legal advice or inform you about your rights. If you wish to benefit from it, contact the access point to the law on which you depend.
Apart from the houses of justice and the law, the departmental centers for access to rights and the PADs, the administrations and the courts can offer a free consultation with a lawyer.
- Town halls : some town halls offer the possibility of consulting a lawyer free of charge. To find out if this is the case in your city, you should inquire directly. You can consult the contact details and practical information of all the mayors of Metropolitan France and the overseas departments here.
- District Courts (TI) : their purpose is to take charge of civil cases for which the request relates to sums less than or equal to 10,000 euros. Find the IT directory on this page.
- High Courts (TGI) : they take charge of civil cases for sums greater than 10,000 euros as well as those relating to cases not allocated to another jurisdiction (trade, industrial tribunal …). All TGI addresses are available in this article.
Depending on where you live, it is possible to find a lawyer for free and to benefit from legal advice. However, it is worth inquiring directly to find out if you can benefit from it.
In most insurance contracts that are taken out, such as car insurance or even home insurance, legal assistance is provided for in the contract. It allows you to have advice from a specialist in the event of a problem or dispute.
Free legal assistance is generally given by telephone, but can go as far as setting up amicable or legal procedures.
Here are some examples of legal assistance with your insurance contracts :
- You ordered an item on the internet which was not delivered and you cannot get a refund: a free lawyer can guide you through the steps to take. This help can be provided by your civil insurance.
- Your home is unsanitary and your landlord refuses to do the work: a free lawyer will inform you of your housing rights. This help will be provided by your home insurance.
- You encounter neighborhood problems (nuisance, delimitation of land, etc.): your home insurance informs you of your rights and the steps to take.
The legal service is free, without any additional costss. The precise terms and conditions are specific to each insurance. It is advisable to read the details of the contract in order to know the guarantees. If you would like to know more about your coverage, contact the organization in which you subscribed directly. They will be able to advise you.
Do not hesitate to consult our articles related to legal aid:
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Responsible for the publication, I am a specialist in social assistance and administrative procedures since 2012. The precision and clarity of information are my priorities.