12 Philippine Free Legal Advice Groups

by | Nov 23, 2018 | Uncategorized

Scales of Justice

This is a list of free legal advice organizations in the Philippines.

I sincerely hope this helps everyone better access the courts.

I provide a starting point but you would have to call or go to the actual organizations to clarify actual requirements, telephone numbers or the detailed processes of how to avail of these services.

Take note, I may not be able to answer questions on how to apply since I have not been through the process as an applicant. .

It is best to get in touch with the actual organization itself.

They would know the details best.

Table of Contents

Government Organizations
Special Interest Groups
University Legal Aid Offices

Government Organizations

Government offices are available nationwide.
They are the go-to source for legal advice for child support, criminal issues or labor concerns.
Find their contact information and other available data below.

Public Attorney's Office

1. Public Attorney’s Office

Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:
Address: Located in your local hall of justice which is usually in the municipal or town hall.
Website: http://www.pao.gov.ph/

Focus: The PAO only serves those whose income is less than the amount identified below.

  • Php 14,000 for Metro Manila
  • Php 13,000 for other cities
  • Php 12,000 elsewhere

They cannot not serve in cases where:

  • When there is a conflict of interest
  • Have higher income than that which is indicated above
  • Defend in a bouncing checks case
  • Prosecute criminal cases
  • Adoption cases except where the adopter is the biological parent or step-parent of the adoptee

Requirements:

  • An Affidavit of Indigency
  • Latest Income Tax Return or pay slip or other proofs of income
  • Certificate of Indigency from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, its local District Office, or the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office having jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant

Notes:

The PAO is your go-to source for free legal aid and should be considered especially if your need is urgent and income is tight.

The difference between a PAO lawyer and a private lawyer is in their workload and in the continuity of their service.

A PAO lawyer handled 458 cases on average in 2017 while a private lawyer might only handle 40. This means less time per client.

In addition, there is frequent turnover for cases meaning that your PAO lawyer will likely change over the course of the case. An average case can take years so you might work with many lawyers over time.

DOLE logo

2. Department of Labor and Employment

Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:

Address:
Main Office: Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Building, Muralla Wing cor. General Luna St., Intramuros, Manila, 1002 Philippines.
Local DOLE offices can be found all over the country but you’d have to locate what the nearest one is.
Telephone: 1349 from landlines
Email: https://www.dole.gov.ph/queries/submit

Focus: Only labor related complaints

Requirements: Please check with your local DOLE

Department of Social Welfare and Development Logo

3. Department of Social Welfare and Development

Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:

Address:
Main Office: 389 San Rafael Street corner Legarda Street, Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines
Local DSWD offices can be found all over the country but you’d have to locate what the nearest one is.
Telephone: +63-2-733-0010 to 18
Email: foncr@dswd.gov.ph

Focus: Only social work complaints such as women and children issues

Requirements: Please check with your local DSWD

Special Interest Groups

Office Tower of a Special Interest Group

Special interest legal aid groups give assistance to a particular cause.
They may serve human rights goals or cater to marginalized sectors of society.
Although they may take cases that are nationwide, they are only found in a few areas.

Saligan Logo

4. Saligan

Area Served: Naga and Davao

Contact Information:

Address: G/F Hoffner Building, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone: (632) 426-6001 loc. 4858-4860
Email: aligan@saligan.org

Focus: Handles women, workers, the urban poor, indigenous, moro and peace

Requirements: Call or go in person to see what is possible.

FLAG Logo

5. Free Legal Assistance Group (FLAG)

FLAG Logo
Area Served: Nationwide

Contact Information:

Address: Room 116 Alumni Center Annex, Magsaysay Avenue, UP Campus, Diliman, Quezon City
Telephone: +63 2 920 5132
Website: http://flagfaqs.blogspot.com/
Email: flag@flag.com.ph

Focus: Human rights

Requirements: Call or go in person to see what is possible.

University Legal Aid Offices

University Teacher with a Blackboard

Universities with legal programs have free aid clinics.
Run by senior law students under the supervision of a practicing lawyer, they often accept cases for indigents.
I’ve listed several but check universities near you as well.

Ateneo De Manila Law

6. Ateneo Legal Services Center (ALSC)

Area Served: Makati and Mandaluyong

Contact Information:

Address: 20 Rockwell Drive, Rockwell Center 1200 Makati City, Philippines
Telephone: +63 (02) 899-7691 ext. 2113
Website: http://www.ateneo.edu/aps/law/ateneo-law-center/ateneo-legal-services-center
Email: alsc.law@ ateneo.edu

Focus: ALSC only serves indigent clients with:

  • Php 14,000 for Metro Manila
  • Php 13,000 for other cities
  • Php 12,000 elsewhere

They cannot not serve in cases where for:

  • Sum of money
  • Annulment
  • Bouncing checks case
  • Forfeiture or
  • Other cases that are not consistent with the indigency claim.

Requirements:

  • An affidavit of indigency
  • Latest Income Tax Return or pay slip or other proofs of income
  • Certificate of Indigency from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, its local District Office, or the Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office having jurisdiction over the residence of the applicant
  • Latest Income Tax Return or pay slip or other proofs of income

Notes:

Expect to work with several different student lawyers over the course of your case. It is important to know the details of your case well so as to be able to introduce each lawyer to the facts over time. Although there is documentation, it is important to fill in data gaps that may exist.

UP Diliman Law Logo

7. University of the Philippines Office of Legal Aid

Area: Metro Manila

Contact Information:

Address: Office of Legal Aid, UP College of Law, Malcolm Hall, Diliman Quezon City
Telephone: +63-2-920-5514 loc. 106
Website: http://law.upd.edu.ph/office-of-legal-aid/

Focus: UP only serves indigent clients but you would have to find out how they determine what an indigent is.

Requirements: UP needs to be contacted directly to determine what the requirements are.

Notes: As with many student programs listed here, expect that your case will be managed by several students over the course of the case.

San Beda Legal Aid Bureau Logo

8. San Beda Legal Aid Bureau, Manila

Area: Around Manila

Contact Information:

Main
San Beda College Mendiola, Manila
Phone: (02) 735-6011 local 6120
Schedule: M-W-F 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Quiapo Branch
3rd Floor Legal Council Office
Pop Benedict VI Building
Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene
910 Plaza Miranda, Quiapo, Manila
Schedule: T-TH 9:00 am to 12:00 pm

Pandacan Branch
Sinag sa Sais Center
Pandacan, Manila
Schedule: F 10:00 am to 1:00 pm

Focus: Serves those of limited means

Requirements: There is an application process but you would need to call or go in person to find out these details.

San Beda Legal Aid Bureau Logo

9. San Beda Legal Aid Bureau, Alabang

Area: Around Alabang

Contact Information:

Address: 8 Don Manolo Blvd., Alabang Hills Village, Alabang, 1770 Muntinlupa City, P.O. Box 402 Ayala Alabang
Phone Number: +63-2-236-7222 trunkline
Website: http://www.sanbeda-alabang.edu.ph/bede/index.php/other-links/archives-ay-2012-2013/361-sol-legal-aid-bureau

Focus: Serves those of limited means

Requirements: There is an application process but you would need to call or go in person to find out these details.

UST Law Logo

10. University of St. Thomas, RJ Roberto Concepcion Legal Aid

Area: Around Manila

Contact Information:

Address: Espana Blvd., Sampaloc, Manila, Philippines 1008
Phone Number: +63(02) 731-4027 / +63(02) 406-1611 (Local 8225)
Website: http://www.ustcivillaw.com/cj-roberto-concepcion-legal-aid

Focus: Extends free legal assistance assistance to indigents and those belonging to the marginalized sector

Requirements: There is an application process but you would need to call or go in person to find out these details.

San Sebastian College of Law Logo

11. Sebastinian Office of Legal Aid

Area: Around Manila

Contact Information:

Address: Recto Ave, Quiapo, Manila, 1001 Metro Manila
Telephone: +63-2-734-8931 Local: 313 & 173
Website: http://law.sscrmnl.edu.ph/contact-information/

Focus: You would have to call or go in person to know.

Requirements: You would have to call or go in person to know.

Xavier University Logo

12. Xavier University Center for Legal Assistance

Area Served: Cagayan De Oro

Contact Information:

Address: Xavier Unviersity – Ateneo de Cagayan, Corrales Avenue, Cagayan de Oro City, 9000, Philippines
Telephone: (088) 853-9800 Local 9176 / 9177 / 9180 / 9181
Email: xucla@xu.edu.ph
Website: http://www.xu.edu.ph/xavier-university-center-for-legal-assistance

Focus: Specifically for the poor and marginalized.

Requirements: Call to determine what documents you need to prepare in advance

51 Comments

  1. gina

    Magkano po Ang charge nyo at how many weeks process Ang Philippines Judicial Acknowledgement Sa Foreign divorce in EU?

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  2. cheche

    Hi magkano po ang consultation fee nyo po? for child support.

    Reply
  3. Paola

    Hi po.san po pwede humingi ng libreng tulong from attorney regarding illegal dismissal, pregnant discrimination. Salamat po

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Dear Paola:

      Please see above organizations that give free legal advice.

      They can certainly help you.

      Reply
      • amy

        hello po magkano po ang consultation for fake marriage and fake identity

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent an email.

  4. Ana

    Good Day Atty.!

    May I inquire certain legal matter regarding Marriage Certificate.

    Is Confidential Marriage Certificate Solemnized in California by both Filipino Citizens valid in the Philippines upon reporting of marriage at DFA?

    The California Confidential Marriage Certificate requires NO witness however, in our Law of Marrige there is a NEED for two witnesses.

    I reviewed the Report for Marriage FORM and it has spaces for two Witnesses. Is it valid if I leave it blank since My Marriage Certificate doesn’t have any? Or would DFA validate it since it doesn’t have witnesses?

    Your legal advice is deeply appreciated.

    Thank you and more blessings ahead.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
      • Nissa

        Hi!
        Any recommendations for anullment application? I’m not indigent however, my monthly income is just exactly right for all my bills and other liabilities as a head of the family. Pls advice where can I seek assistance for my marriage anullment application.

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Dear Nissa:

        I do not know of any free service that currently handles annulments for non-indigents.

        Those that I am aware of require indigency.

        We are private lawyers ourselves and do not have a pro-bono arm at the moment.

  5. Les

    Hello, I’m asking for my friend, where can we ask for help regarding hospital negligence?
    Please, we really need some help 😞

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      If you wish to pursue a case for medical malpractice, you must have a expert witness (i.e. another doctor) to testify that there was error.

      As such, medical malpractice cases are often very difficult to pursue.

      However, you may consult with the PAO if you are determined to push through with this case.

      Currently, the office does not have the resources to be able to pursue pro-bono cases.

      Reply
      • sheila

        hello good afternoon po,
        magkano po ang fee pag sa violation of article 171 (4) in relation to article 172 of the revised penal code
        violation of article 315 (3) (a) of the revised penal vode

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Sent you a reply.

  6. Leo

    Blessed day po.

    I have applied for the Red Ribbon of my Marriage Certificate thru LBC since I am an OFW however it was rejected by the DFA since my name in the Marriage Certificate is misspelled as compared to my passport and birth certificate. How can I have this corrected?

    Looking forward for your reply. Thanks and God bless.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  7. Eds

    Hi! I want to inquire if how much is the judicial acknowledgement of divorce acquired by a foreign spouse abroad and how long will it take? Your response is highly appreciated and thank you in advance.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent you an email.

      Reply
  8. Ana Mercedes

    My mom passed away last April 9. Five days before her death, she asked her nurse to contact her friend to go to the hospital (where she was confined) since she has to give that person some orders. Apparently, my mom told her to make a last will and testament and dictated to her what she wants to be written on her will. She arrived after lunch and came back in the evening along with her 2 sisters, niece as witnesses and a notary public. The nurse was the 4th witness. My question is, is it right that all of her witnesses are her relatives, except for the nurse. They are not even our relatives!

    Hope you could help.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi:

      As long as the witnesses are of sound mind, 18 years of age, able to read and write, not blind, deaf or dumb, not have been convicted by final judgement of falsification, perjury or false testimony and domiciled in the Philippines, they can be witnesses to your mother’s will.

      Reply
  9. Pamela M.

    Hello papano po humingi ng legal advise regarding sa family reunion visa processing namen magina to Germany.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      If you are immigrating to Germany, you must consult with a german lawyer familiar with these laws.

      Reply
  10. Naldo

    Hello po available mga resources para sa naturalization? Mahirap, kasi wala informations sa online! Salamat po!

    Reply
  11. Easterity

    Hello… Can you recommend a lawyer focusing on annulment and adultery case? I am an ofw. I am hopingvyou can provide me one whom I can.contact through email.. I am really looking forward to hear from you soon.. Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  12. Joy de Jemel

    Hi,

    May we ask where can we have a free legal assistance about lands? This is for our senior citizen father who’s having a battle with his 2 brothers regarding the small piece of land. The mother title was named after 2 brothers since most of the other siblings are jobless including my father who are not capable to produce certain documents. Then last year, my father asked his siblings including the two if he can have his share transferred to his name. The two brothers agreed with a signed deed of sale. Through the help of my younger sister from her little bonus, our father was able to got his share about 50sqm from the mother title. It was placed under his name legally last June 2018 following all the LRA requirements and necessary payments. Then, one of his two brothers started to assault our father learning that we secured a land title. He didn’t stop assaulting and pestering our father especially when he found out that my sister will build a new house in our land for our jobless parents. He eventually asked the other brother to stopped the house construction even we have an approved building permit and just last month they both attacked and threatened our father that they will not stop until they got back the land. They can’t accept the truth and even accused my sister that we faked all the land pertaining documents. Lastly, just the other day, one of the two brothers informed their other siblings that he will file a case against my father for blocking his already built house. The part of my father is actually at the front of his brother’s house but to avoid issues and conflict, the original designed of our father’s house was changed and adjusted making it smaller compare from the agreed portion and land title. Also, that was the approved layout by the Municipal Engineer when we applied for building permit. The brother don’t want to accept it and seek an attorney. Now, we are concern on the safety of our father especially that he has been assaulted several times plus we want to be ready for any questions legally. We do not have means to get a private lawyer as I, myself is a full time mom and other siblings has limited ibcome only. We want to seek your assistance for us to help and protect our father. We appreciate your response.

    Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi:

      The above list of free legal groups may be able to help as we ourselves do not currently offer pro-bono services.

      As your father to go to one of the legal groups mentioned to see if they can help him in his situation. He will need to prove that he is jobless and does not have the means to hire a private lawyer.

      Reply
  13. Alias: Alex

    Hi

    We need help with free or low fee legal assistance in a case against us: Petition for cancellation of simulated certificate of live birth

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi:

      We currently have no pro bono program.

      Have you tried working with the Public Attorney’s office?

      Reply
  14. Renz

    We filed RA 7610 (Acts of Laschivousness) to my daughter’s teacher. The case was filed last year and at the time the incident happened she was just 10 years old. The defendant is on bail. Our case is handled by a Prosecutor and the case havn’t been to trial yet because 2 months ago the defendant filed motion for inhibition and it was granted. We would like to get a private lawyer but the thing is we will not qualify as indigent. Our income is enough to sustain us with our needs. Hope you could recommend a lawyer that is good in handling child abuse case that will not cost a fortune. Looking forward for your recommendation. Thank you and God bless!

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Dear Renz:

      I am sorry for the situation.

      The Office currently does not handle pro bono cases.

      There may be some special interest groups that can take this on, but the ones I am familiar with require their clients to be indigent.

      Reply
  15. Alias: Jade

    Hi po. Kanino po pwedeng lumapit kung about cyber libel pero ang monthly income ko po ay mataas sa nabanggit na income for PAO – single parent. Thank you po.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Try going to the PNP Cyber Crimes unit.

      Reply
  16. Jessie

    Hello po, yung kapatid ko po basta na lang hinuli ng mga pulis dahil sa drugs. Walang nakuhang drugs sa kanya nung nahuli and hindi rin nahuli sa akto na nagdadrugs sya pero kinasuhan po sya ng pusher at user. Ngayon po nakakulong sya at binubugbog pa sa kulungan. Ask ko po kung pano namin ilalaban yun? Saan po ako pede lumapit? Hindi kami magfafall sa indigency pero hindi po namin afford ang mag-abogado. Pls sana po mabigyan nyo ako ng advice. Salamat po.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      I do not know of any free legal advice groups currently as most that I am aware of require proof of indigency.

      Reply
  17. Jun

    Dear Atty. Gusto ko po sanang humingi ng legal advice regarding sa letter executed/signed by the admin manager of property mamagement office last year stating our agreement on lease that will resume this month. Pero nag resign na po yun manager at ayaw i honor nung in charge yun nakasaad sa letter. Parang na fraud or i was given false promises para ako mag agree on their terms. Saan po kayang legal assistance group ako pwede magpa advice for lower fees and if I can ask them for a demand letter for the in charge in the property management office. I hope you can help me. Thanks po.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Dear Jun:

      Most legal assistance groups require the petitioner to be indigent which means an income lower than Php 14,000 in MM.

      As you likely do not fall under this category, you must engage a private lawyer.

      Reply
    • Raquel

      Hi sa matulungan nyo ako sa problema ko

      Reply
      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        The Office does not offer free legal advice.

        However the list of free legal advice groups above may be able to help you.

        Note that you must be indigent to be eligible.

  18. Raquel

    Hi im raquel bondoc, i have a problem about my b-certicificate. The time of nso i get my b-certificate no record. Nso release me negative record. Thats why i need late registration. So late registration b-certificate done. PSA comes i have another record of b-certificate. What will i do all my legal document and government issued id is base on my late registration record. And is my true b-day. Can you help. PSA TOLD ME I NEED A COURT ORDER TO CANCELL THE OTHER B-CERTIFICATE THAT WAS ISSUE BY PSA. MY REAL OR TRUE B-DAY IS IN THE RECORD OF LATE REGISTRATION. HOPEFULLY YOU CAN HELP ME. THANKS

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Hi:

      The type of correction depends on what exactly is written on the birth certificate.

      It is not possible to assess it without seeing the document.

      First, present the document for assessment. Then, advice can be given as to the steps that need to be done.

      Reply
      • Yong

        Sir ask lang po.. Mag kano po ba ang bail nang qualified theft.. Ang kapatid ko kasi may sabpuena na natangap last week.. Mag 10days na bukas ang letter….hindi siya naka response….natakot..
        Anong mang yari sa kanya sir? May warrnt ba na matanggap? Kong mayroon man ilang days kaya nya matanggap..
        Salamat po..

      • Lawyers in the Philippines

        Hi:

        I suggest you engage a lawyer to defend your brother.

        He can examine the case files and discuss your options thoroughly.

  19. Jason

    Hi. Any recommendation of law office or lawyer that could handle land and land titles concerns? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  20. Mila

    Hi!
    Needing assistance re marital issues and child support.

    Thanks

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Sent an email.

      Reply
  21. Jeannelle

    Good afternoon,

    May I ask po for an advice regarding po sa cousin ko na lalaki. Yung family po nila (Tita, Tito, and cousins ko po) nakatira sa bahay po namin. Ina allowed naman po namin sila na tumira especially my tita nd tito na nakatira na po samin ever since. Ngayon po na pag kasunduan po ng parents ko and family po nila na allowed po silang tumira sa bahay namin pero pag nag asawa na po yung mga cousins ko at may sarili na po silang family aalis na po sila ng bahay. Ngayon po yung cousin ko na lalaki (19 years old) nabuntis niya po yung gf niya na (15 years old) and binibigyan niya po ng problema yung parents niya kakahingi ng pera, binubugbog at minumura niya po parents niya at ayaw din po niyang umalis ng bahay. Gusto na po ng parents niya at ng family ko na umalis na po sana siya ng bahay dahil po sa nangyayari. Paano po kaya ang magandang gawin?

    Salamat po and God bless!

    P.S: nabarangay na rin po siya.

    Reply
    • Lawyers in the Philippines

      Go to the Barangay.

      Ask them for their advice on this matter.

      Reply

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