Frequently Asked Questions

 

What kinds of cases do you handle?

SAVLP handles certain civil matters, including adoption, change of custody, uncontested divorce, child support modification, credit access and debt collection, landlord tenant problems, advice before lawsuit, and many more.  For a more complete list, see the Eligibility section under the Get Help tab.

 

Do you handle criminal cases?

No.  As a recipient of federal funds, SAVLP is restricted by Congress from handling criminal matters or matters for incarcerated people.  We are also restricted from handling fee-generating matters, class actions, rulemaking and lobbying. 

 

Is there an income requirement for clients?

Yes. SAVLP assists low-income clients.  If you think you might qualify, please call the SAVLP office or submit an application.

 

How do I apply for help?

You can call the SAVLP intake line at 438-1102 or toll free 855-997-2857 or apply in person on the fourth floor of Government Plaza Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 9:30-11:30. We also offer Free Legal Advice Clinics where you can meet with a volunteer attorney for limited legal advice. For more information about getting Free Legal Advice, click here.

 

I called and left a message yesterday. How long will it take for you to call me back?

You will always receive the voicemail system when you call.  Please follow all instructions on the voicemail.  SAVLP returns calls in the order in which they are received.  It may take a few days for us to call you back, so please be patient.  Calling and leaving multiple messages means we have more messages to check and less time to call people back.  

 

Can I call the office and ask an attorney a quick question?

No. You must apply for SAVLP services. If you have a problem that falls within our guidelines and you meet the income requirements, SAVLP will assign you an attorney.  For answers to quick questions, you may attend one of the free limited legal advice clinics. You may call the Alabama State Bar Lawyer Referral Service at 800-392-5660 to hire a private attorney.  This service can give you the name of a lawyer who handles you type of case and for a small fee, you can talk to that lawyer about your problem. 

 

How much will I have to pay?

SAVLP attorneys donate their time to assist our clients, so you won’t have to pay the attorney anything. You are responsible for any out-of-pocket costs (court filing fees, publication notices, bonds, etc.).  Your attorney can tell you what kinds of costs to expect for your case.    

 

Why can’t I pick my appointment time?

SAVLP does not have attorneys on staff.  Attorneys volunteer to see clients at SAVLP on certain days of the week.  We only schedule appointments with an attorney during these times.  

 

Where will I meet my attorney?

Some attorneys see clients at SAVLP’s office.  Other attorneys will schedule appointments at their law firms.  Make sure you ask where you are supposed to go.

 

I want to find out the status of my open SAVLP case. Can you give me that information?

You need to contact your attorney for an update on your case.

 

Is there a limit to the number of cases I can have with SAVLP?

No.  You can have multiple cases open with SAVLP but you may have different lawyers in each of those cases.  If a new legal issue arises, please call SAVLP to reapply for services for the the new issue as each case must be reviewed, approved and assigned to a volunteer attorney.