Legal Services of Eastern Michigan can assist clients who are low income, and those who are facing foreclosure, discriminated against in housing or seniors (persons 60 years of age and older) regardless of income.

Eligibility for low income persons changes each year and depends on family size, household income and the assets available to the household.  LSEM will ask for information to assess this eligibility before a potential client gets any advice from an advocate.  We will determine eligibility according to our program policies and the requirements of our funding sources.

The majority of our legal services are available for  persons who are at or slightly over the Federal poverty levels.  Families who receive government benefits or work at lower wage jobs are most likely to qualify for services.

Eligibility for Seniors, those facing foreclosure and those who may have been discriminated against in housing is not restricted based upon financial eligibility.

This program and/or service is funded in whole or in part by Genesee County Senior Millage funds. Your tax dollars are at work.

LSEM does not handle criminal matters.  If you are low income and are charged with a crime, contact the Court to ask for appointed counsel.

Please contact us to request a determination of eligibility if you are in need of legal help.

Types of Cases

Family Law

Family Law includes advice, brief service and limited direct representation in divorces, custody/parenting time, child support, domestic violence, paternity, name changes, guardianships, and other family issues as well as senior law and elder abuse including financial exploitation.


Housing includes landlord/tenant problems, i.e. evictions, repair issues; , lock-outs; public housing issues; mortgage foreclosures; property tax forfeitures; land contract forfeitures; and predatory lending. In addition, LSEM handles issues that affect the habitability of housing, i.e. problems with public utilities.

Fair Housing

Fair Housing includes fair housing testing and enforcement to ensure that all citizens have the rights guaranteed under federal and state law to have equal access to housing regardless of race, sex, age, color, religion, national origin, familial, marital, or disability status.  There is no financial eligibility requirement to receive fair housing assistance.

Consumer Problems

This includes a wide variety of cases including unfair sales practices, contracts, credit repair, collections, mortgage foreclosure assistance, and how bankruptcy can be used as a tool to deal with credit issues that could lead to homelessness, including saving homes from foreclosure. LSEM may also be able to assist you with filing bankruptcy if you are in danger of losing your home.  

Government Benefits

This includes issues with Welfare (DHS), Food Assistance Program, Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, Unemployment Compensation and Veteran’s Benefits.


Education includes advice and brief service in issues such as rights to IEPs. If these issues are complex and require further legal assistance, they are normally referred.  In this way LSEM can meet clients’ basic needs and still help them acquire access to added services, if needed. 


Employment includes advice and brief service regarding job discrimination, wage claims, unemployment compensation, and other employment issues.  

Individual Rights

Individual Rights includes durable power of attorney paperwork, mental health issues, disability rights, prisoners’ rights, immigration/naturalization, and other individual rights.  


A wide range of services for seniors are provided for seniors and are intended to help them maintain independence and to remain in their own homes if possible.  

Our 2015 Client Demographics

We handle a variety of cases for people throughout Eastern Michigan.

Types of Cases Closed

Consumer 726 13.18%
Education 36 0.65%
Employment 47 0.85%
Family 1782 32.36%
Juvenile 14 0.25%
Health 50 0.91%
Housing 1571 28.53%
Income Maintenance 370 6.72%
Individual rights 135 2.45%
Miscellaneous 776 14.09%
Total 5507

Ethnicity of Our Clients

White 2775 50.40%
Black 1813 32.93%
Hispanic 121 2.20%
Native American 16 0.29%
Asian 4 0.07%
Other 777 14.11%
 Total 5506

Gender of Our Clients

Male 1702 30.91%
Female 3804 69.09%
Total 5506