Lawyers who offer free legal services to seniors are typically mandated by federal, state and local governments. These lawyers are hired by state governments and work as an organization, such as the Senior Citizens Law Office of New Mexico and the Department of Elder Affairs of the State of Florida.
Most states require seniors to be at least 60 years of age to qualify for free legal assistance, as of 2015. In most cases, free legal consultation may not be offered to seniors requesting help for a criminal offense, Medicare malpractice or car accidents. Free assistance is only applicable toward civil law cases, such as Social Security, Medicare, bankruptcy, rental issues and utilities. To streamline these services, some states, such as Florida and Massachusetts, have set up senior legal helplines that seniors may call to request assistance.
Certain organizations may help seniors find the legal consultation they need by using a search engine that looks through a database of legal resources from around the country. Such organizations include the National Resource Legal Center and the Center for Elderly Rights Advocacy. These organizations connect seniors to local hotlines in their states that allow them to speak with qualified lawyers who may help them reach a decision on what course of action to take.