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Legal Aid has a number of projects designed to assist low income, working low income and other vulnerable individuals. Many of these projects are funded through grants or partnerships with other agencies.


For additional information about QUALIFICATIONS


This website is designed to provide general information and should not
be utilized as a substitute for professional legal advice.


LEGAL ADVOCACY FOR FAMILIES & CHILDREN is intended to help children less than 18 years of age and their families/caregivers living in Hawai`i who are experiencing family dysfunction and who require legal assistance to ensure safety, stability, and economic self-sufficiency.

The Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i aims to assist children and families to stabilize situations such as households where there is domestic violence and child abuse by providing a number of civil legal services to them including, but not limited to, child custody, housing, consumer debt, employment, public benefits issues and other child services issues such as education, teen pregnancy, and runaway children. By reducing the stressors that negatively affect efforts to support and promote family reunification, Legal Aid will help foster a household environment that is safe for children and self-sufficient.

For more information, contact the Hotline

Monday – Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m

O’ahu: 536-4302
Maui: 242-0724
Molokai: 553-3251
Lanai: 565-6089
Kauai: 245-7580
Hilo: 934-0678
Kona: 329-8331



Lauren U. Van Buren, Esq., Staff Attorney

The AFFORDABLE LAWYERS PROJECT is a project of the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii that offers quality legal services at a discounted rate to income-qualified individuals whose income is too high to qualify for free Legal Aid services.



Download a Brochure for AFFORDABLE LAWYERS

Services provided by AFFORDABLE LAWYERS include:

Uncontested Divorces
Child Custody Modifications
Child Support Modifications
Consent Adoptions, Consent Guardianships
Powers of Attorneys
Advance Health Care Directives
Simple Wills
and more...


Most services are provided for a low flat rate. For example, an uncontested divorce without children costs $400, plus the $175 court filing fee. Attorney time is billed at $100 per hour and $50 per hour for paralegal time for contested matters. A person may apply for our services by calling our intake hotline during regular business hours from Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:00 pm to 4:30: 536-4302 on Oahu and 1-800-499-4302 on Neighbor Islands.


To apply for services from the Affordable Lawyers Project,
please call intake: 536-4302 on Oahu,
or 1-800-499-4302 ext. 227
on the Neighbor Islands and leave a message.


Please leave your full name, household size, gross monthly income, type of legal problem, name of the opposing party, and contact information when you call. Our friendly staff will return your call within two to three (2-3) business days.

You may also e-mail our staff at Please include your phone number or other contact information in your e-mail.


Angela Lovitt, Esq., AmeriCorps Program Director


AmeriCorps is a national service program patterned after the Peace Corps with the goal if increasing community based volunteerism. Members of Legal Aid’s AmeriCorps Project Laulima are placed at various legal service and social service agencies across the state. The goal of the project is to provide holistic services to low income clients and to strengthen the connection between low income legal and social service providers.


Full-time and part-time members strive to improve the access of low-income individuals to legal, social, and economic justice in the community. Since its birth in 1997, members in our project have:

Assisted over 33,000 low-income with advice or referral on their civil matter;
Created over 350 self-help materials to instruct users on their legal rights;
Distributed over 60,000 self-help brochures to low-income individuals;
Assisted over 4,200 individuals in 1,241 self-help clinics and workshops.


To download the AmeriCorps Project Laulima Brochure



Angela Lovitt, Esq., Director of Training & Special Projects


Brown Bags is a community project sponsored by the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i. The goal of our Brown Bags Seminars is to provide periodic forums that educate both social service advocates and those in the legal community on various legal and social service topics affecting Hawai`i’s low-income community. Brown Bags also endeavors to build closer relationships between legal service providers and non-profit agencies that assist low-income clients.


To participate in Legal Aid’s Brown Bag seminars, or for more information, please contact Elise by telephone at 808-527-8056, or by e-mail at



Opened in November 1998, the CENTER FOR EQUAL JUSTICE (CEJ) is a one-stop shop for justice that strives to empower unrepresented court users to resolve their legal issues on their own.

Legal Aid's CEJ is Hawaii's first self-help legal center. The CEJ has 4 main components:

1) Provides brief legal servies to eligible low- to moderate-income individuals and families in the areas of FAMILY LAW, HOUSING LAW, PUBLIC BENEFITS and CONSUMER LAW;

2) Provides the use of our facilities to those not eligible for Legal Aid, so that they may resolve legal issues on their own. These facilities include: computers, printers, typewriters, a legal library, a copy machine, telephones and a work area.

3) Publishes brochures and self-help packets on family, housing public benefits, and consumer legal issues; and

4) Offers 24-hour recorded scripts on legal issues.



9:00am to 11:30am

924 Bethel Street
Honolulu, HI 96813

3016 Umi Street, Ste. 220
Lihue, HI 96766


To download the CEJ Brochure



The Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i received a grant from the Hawai`i Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide legal services to domestic violence victims.

Through this grant, Legal Aid provides legal services to victims who are receiving cash welfare benefits and are exempt from the welfare work requirement because of the violence in their lives. These legal services may be related to the abuse, but need not be.





To determine if you are eligible for the Domestic Violence Status (DVS), contact your DHS worker today.

Child & Family Services (CFS) also works closely with Legal Aid and DHS to assess and assist with the clients’ non-legal, social service needs.

When a household is receiving the DVE from DHS, the household is eligible for FREE legal services from Legal Aid. In addition, to free legal services, for a period of 6 months, the exemption relieves the household from:

- the 5 year time limit,
- the 20% grant reduction, and
- the work requirements of the First-to-Work program

Individuals and families NOT receiving TANF funds (below) may receive our services upon qualification.


To see if you qualify for SERVICES



Chelsey Stewart, Fair Housing Investigation Coordinator


FAIR HOUSING ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM (FHEP). Fair housing laws prohibit discrimination in the rental sale, finance, or insurance of housing based upon certain protected categories. Protected categories include race, color, sex, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital status, family status, and HIV infection. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), the Fair Housing Enforcement Program (FHEP) aims to enforce fair housing laws by determining whether housing providers (landlords, lenders, sellers, etc.) are discriminating against individuals.

This program offers statewide services to victims of housing discrimination, regardless of their income or assets. If you believe that you are a victim of ILLEGAL HOUSING DISCRIMINATION, please CONTACT US at:

808-527-8017 on Oahu or
1-866-527-FAIR (3247) on the Neighbor Islands


For additional information about FAIR HOUSING LAW



The FAMILY COURTHOUSE ASSISTANCE PROJECT (Family CAP) is a collaborative project between the Family Court of the First Circuit and the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i.

Every Wednesday a Legal Aid attorney works at Family Court in Kapolei to provide legal assistance to eligible, unrepresented court users. Services can include immediate counsel & advice, assistance drafting court orders and forms, assistance calculating child support, and help negotiating with the other party.

Family CAP is staffed at the following location and time:

Kapolei Circuit Court
8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.









Through a contract with the Hawai`i State Judiciary, Legal Aid advocates are appointed as guardians ad litem (GALs) in Child Protective Services (CPS) cases.

GALs represent children who have been abused or neglected by advocating for the children’s best interest. GALs visit the children, conduct investigations, report to the court, and attend all hearings on behalf of the children.


Janet Kelly, Esq., Supervising Attorney

Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this project provides holistic legal services to homeless individuals and families.

Providing holistic services to homeless persons during their transition from homelessness to independent living is crucial. This project focuses on four major areas:

1) Getting and keeping a steady source of income
2) Getting and keeping shelter
3) Protecting personal safety
4) Improving personal and family relationships

To qualify for legal services under the HOMELESS PROGRAM, an individual or family must:

a) Live on the streets, in a park, on the beach, or in a place not usually meant for human habitation;
b) Live in an emergency or transitional shelter;
c) Live in a domestic violence shelter and not be able to immediately return home;
d) Have an eviction pending in Court; OR
e) Be discharged from an institution and have no place to go

In addition to Legal Aid’s Intake Hotline, individuals who are homeless may receive services at any of the following locations and times:


Waianae Coast Comprehensive Health Center
86-260 Farrington Hwy
Every Friday from 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Waimanalo Health Center
41-1347 Kalanianaole Hwy
Every Thursday from 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Institute for Human Services – Women’s Shelter
546 Kaaahi Street
Every Wednesday from 1:00-3:30 p.m.

Onemalu at Barber’s Point Transitional Housing
Every other Tuesday from 1:00-3:30 p.m.
and by appointment (residents only).

Catholic Charities Maililand Transitional Shelter
Every other Tuesday from 1:00-3:30 p.m.
and by appointment (residents only).