Welcome to legalhotlines.org

CERA LogoLegalhotlines.org
 is sponsored by the Center for Elder Rights Advocacy (CERA), a project of Elder Law of Michigan, with a grant from the United States Administration on Aging. CERA's mission is to provide technical assistance to legal hotline managers, developers, and other stakeholders for non-profit legal programs that provide telephone legal advice. The legalhotlines.org website maintains a library of materials on setting up and running a non-profit legal hotline.

Find what you need to set up or operate a legal hotline in our comprehensive library of manuals, presentations, reports, and sample brochures produced by the Project and other programs related to the operation of legal hotlines. Click on the Hotline Resources button in the navigation bar to find information on setting up the hotline, training staff, evaluating your program, and reaching clients. We have also posted all available reports on hotline productivity, client outcomes and satisfaction, and legal needs studies.

Please contact us with any questions at info@ceraresource.org.

What is a Legal Hotline?

Woman on the phoneA legal hotline is a service designed to provide legal advice and information by telephone at the time the client contacts the program or soon thereafter. This definition includes programs that provide answers to clients’ legal questions, analysis of their legal problems, and advice on solving those problems. Hotlines may perform brief services such as making phone calls, writing letters or preparing documents on behalf of clients. Hotlines may also provide referrals to other programs or serve as the intake mechanism for a full service program. Programs that provide only information and referrals, or which are limited to intake screening, are not considered to be legal hotlines. Hotlines frequently call themselves help lines, advice lines, or intake units. It is the service, not the name, which defines a legal hotline. This website primarily addresses the needs of not-for-profit hotlines, although many of the issues apply to for-profit hotlines as well.

Hotline call handlers may be attorneys, paralegals or law students, working under an attorney’s direct supervision.  "Hotline advocate" and "hotline attorney" are used interchangeably to refer to these persons. Our definition includes programs that may not call themselves "hotlines" so long as they have a system for providing telephone legal advice.

CERA provides a state-by-state listing of Senior Legal Hotlines and other Senior Legal Service Providers to provide you with access to legal services in your state.

Click on the map below to view the listing or click here.

Recent Blog Posts

OVC FY 17 Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation

OVC FY 17 Field-Generated Innovations in Addressing Elder Abuse and Financial Exploitation

From the National Center on Elder Abuse: The Department of Justice, through its Office for Victims of Crime and the Elder Justice Initiative, intends to release a $3.25 million solicitation ...
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When Disaster Strikes – What Senior Clients Should Know and How to Tell Them

by Ellen Cheek, Staff Attorney, Florida Senior Legal Helpline In a February 2016 blog post, Attorney Ellie Lanier explained how understanding the brain in conflict can help Hotline staff serve clients; ...
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Lessons Learned: Clearing Title and the Obstacle Many Helpline and Legal Services Clients Experience

By Darling Garcia, Director of Operations, Elder Law of Michigan, Inc., and CERA Project Specialist It has been 13 years since I graduated from law school and these years have ...
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The Shoshanna Ehrlich Excellence in Senior Legal Hotlines Advocacy Award

Article provided by the National Association of Senior Legal Hotlines Shoshanna Ehrlich retired in 2015 from a twenty-five year career in legal hotlines. Her work was a unique three-dimensional journey ...
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