VLN makes justice accessible to people with low income by connecting them with volunteer lawyers for legal services. We concentrate in areas that ensure safety, sustenance, shelter and child custody. While our office is in Hennepin County, we provide some legal services statewide.

Individuals seeking legal services or more information from VLN may call the VLN client intake line (612-752-6677) on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Those seeking legal services in the areas of bankruptcy, family (phone advice), criminal expungement, housing, employment or unemployment compensation may also apply for (and get more information about) our services online.

VLN has four criteria for eligibility: issue, income, geography and merit.
  • Issue: VLN covers a wide range of civil legal issues relating to basic human needs, including shelter, sustenence, safety, and child custody.
  • Income: Depending on the service provided and the county of the individual, individuals must have household income at or below a percentage of the federal poverty guidelines (FPG).
  • Geography: Depending on the issue, VLN serves those who reside or have a case in Hennepin County, in the metro area, or statewide. See a chart of issues helped by Minnesota counties.
  • Merit: In most areas of law, VLN will screen a case for merit prior to finding a volunteer to help.

To be eligible for services, individuals must have household income at or below a certain level of the federal poverty guideline, depending on the service. Depending on the service, VLN serves individuals with household income at or below:
  • 300% FPG
  • 200% FPG
  • 125% FPG

If the individual's household income is:
  • above 300% of the federal poverty guidelines, please see below for possible referrals.
  • at or below 300%, click here to learn what services may be available.

To save your time, please note that VLN does NOT offer service in the following legal areas, but other agencies, as listed, may:

Also, VLN is unable to assist those in households with income above 300% of the federal poverty guidelines. However, free legal advice is available to anyone residing in Hennepin County (regardless of income) through the Lawyer Referral and Information Service Legal Advice Clinic.
  • Hours: Monday 9-11am and 1-3pm; Tuesday-Friday 9-11am
  • Services: 15-30 minutes of legal advice and/or brief legal services on all legal matters. See calendar with the attorneys' areas of legal concentration.
  • Geographic Requirement: must live in or have legal issue in Hennepin County
  • Location: skyway level at the Hennepin County Government Center, Self Help Center), 300 S. Sixth St., Minneapolis 55487
  • Walk-In : first come, first served basis; space is limited to approximately 5-6 people per two-hour shift. If the space is full people may need to return at another time.
  • For more info: (612) 752-6666
  • Other onsite services provided by the Fourth Judicial District Self Help Center (walk-in basis): Forms and written instructions (some fees may apply), videos on representing oneself in court, online tools for filling out forms, ono-on-one review of court forms. Staff speak: English, French, Somali and Spanish.

If the above do not apply, please see the eligibility questionnaire to see whether VLN can assist the individual you have in mind.