As librarians and not lawyers, we are happy to suggest resources but cannot give legal advice (such as which form to file), or legal opinions, (such as how a statute might apply to particular facts). To do so could be considered unauthorized practice of law, a violation of MN Statute 481.02. Even though we try to suggest materials that will be helpful, more research is often required to find a complete and correct answer. For many questions, the best answer may be to consult an attorney. For links to resources on finding an attorney, visit the Minnesota State Law Library website.
Various Legal Information
The Self-Help Center is a starting point for accessing a range of different legal information topics. Some helpful subsections are:
MNCourts.gov has some recommended resources for finding lawyers. Major resource are listings available on several state and county BAR associations. It also lists lawyer locators for low-income clients.
Contains answers to common questions about self representation in court. It also talks about what to expect, and has tips on how to conduct oneself in court.
A good guide that provides an overview of how Minnesota Courts function. Recommended for for a layperson with little exposure to trial procedure outside of dramatized court cases on television!
This page contains the continually changing rules that guide Minnesota Court procedure. Topics include rules regarding the presentation of evidence, public access to records, adoption procedure, juvenile protections and general rules of practice.
Lists legal resources in regions around the state organized by court district. (Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota is included on this list.)
MN Courts has numerous legal forms sorted by topic. These forms tend to be quite long and complex, it is advisable to consult a lawyer for assistance in drafting legal documents.
Get Help with Your Legal Questions
This web site has a number of helpful fact sheets for particular legal questions.
Another helpful aspect of the Law Help MN page is the Form Helper. The Form Helper is a web based interview process that yields a customized legal form that is shorter and more geared to the user’s needs.
LION is a service for people with quick legal questions, but may not have access to a lawyer. LION offers a convenient online form which posts their question to a pool of local lawyers who will respond on the LION page within 24 to 48 hours.
This service is particularly nice for those whose work schedules make it difficult for them to ask for legal advice during normal office hours.
This web site is maintained by the Office of the Revisor of Statutes and contains the current rules, laws and statutes for the state of Minnesota. It also has the Minnesota State Constitution.
Local and Regional Resources
*Librarian on site Monday through Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon.
Legal Services of Northwest Minnesota is a non-profit that operates in 22 northwestern Minnesota counties. They provide free legal services for civil cases for the poor and the elderly. Legal Services of NW MN will be able to provide legal assistance on the basis of a client’s income.
*If a person has an income above the range in which Legal Services could provide legal assistance, they can still act as a resource for printed copies of common legal forms.
This organization specializes not in legal services, but rather advocates for disabled individuals. They may be able to help refer people that have legal questions regarding disability to the information they need.
The UND legal program offers free legal representation to a limited number of cases each year as part of its training program at the university.
A legal services non-profit that serves the state of North Dakota