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We provide legal information for low-income people in the State of Maine. This includes easy-to-read self-help information and forms on topics such as divorce and tenants rights, MaineCare, and food supplements, as well as information about free and low-cost legal services in Maine.
You won't find statutes or court decisions here. You can find court decisions on the Maine Court website and statutes from the Maine legislature. Also, we recommend the Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library's Ask A Librarian service.
Most of the information on this site comes from these Maine legal services providers:
- Pine Tree Legal Assistance
- Legal Services for the Elderly
- Volunteer Lawyers Project
- Maine Equal Justice Project
- Disability Rights Center of Maine
- Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project
- Maine Attorney General's Office
- Maine State Bar Association
We also index self-help information posted by the Maine Courts, many state agencies, and other reliable organizations. HelpMeLaw gathers and sorts useful information from all of these sources, to help you find what you're looking for.
There are two ways to find legal information on the HelpMeLaw site:
Our search engine can find information about legal problems you type in and search for. If you enter a little information about yourself (county, age category, and income category), the search engine will also look for organizations that may be able to help you with your problem. (We won't keep any of this information about you.)
The search engine doesn't search the whole internet. It only searches websites that have good, high-quality legal information useful for Maine low-income people. You may not find any information about your issue. If you don't find what you need, look through the library, or call one of the legal services offices to see if you can get help there.
Our legal library has most of the same information as our search engine. It is organized by topic. You can browse through the library to see if you can find the topics you're looking for. You can "drill down" into a topic to see what documents are there.
Help Note: Most of the documents in the library (and in the search engine) are on other websites on the internet. If you leave our site to look at a document, a new window will open. If you want to come back to HelpMELaw, just close the newer window.
Some people will find it easier to use the search engine, and some people will find it easier to browse the library. We encourage you to try both and let us know what works best for you.
We know there is no substitute for meeting with a lawyer about your legal problem. None of the information available through the HelpMeLaw site is intended to be legal advice. We cannot act as your lawyer. We can help you find a free or low-cost lawyer. Also, we hope that the information you find here will help you to understand the law better.
We Need Your Help
To make HelpMELaw work better, we need your help. Use our feedback form and tell us of problems you have with the site, with ideas for improvement, or even tell us things you like about the site. Without your help it will be much harder for us to know how we are doing. Thanks. (Sorry, but we cannot give legal advice. If you need help from a lawyer or legal advocate, contact one of the organizations listed here.)
The HelpMeLaw website is an interactive, database-driven website built using the open source web platform Drupal 7. Our "smart search" engine was custom built by web Maine-based web developer Brian Dyer-Stewart. Open source software is subject only to an open source license, and is generally available for free.
We have done our best to make our website comply with the requirements of Section 508 of The Rehabilitation Act and the recommendations of the Web Accessibility Initiative of the World Wide Web Consortium. It is important to us that our site be used as effectively by people with disabilities as by those without. We have previously tested the site using the Watchfire "Bobby" software and corrected those pages where problems were found. We aren't experts on these issues, though, and appreciate comments if the website creates problems for people with disabilities.