User Guide

What is Stateside Legal?

Our goal is to provide you with relevant and easy-to-read information when you have a legal problem to solve. 

Here are more details about how to use the site and what you can find here.

What will I find?


Our "smart search" function is designed to help you zero in on information that applies to you.  Enter a search term, such as "divorce," "foreclosure," "domestic abuse," or "VA benefits." You will see "Featured Returns" at the top of the return page. These pieces have been selected to as the relevant information we have on the topic you've search for.  All other pages containing your search term are listed below the "featured results."  If you are a legal advocate, check the "include advocate articles" content at the upper right of any search results screen.  This will allow you to see more complex legal legal resources intended for lawyers, along with the easy-to-read public articles.

Self Help

If you prefer to browse through an online library, use the “Browse Topics” tab. Drill down through a category (“housing”, “education” “family law”, etc.) to find summaries of the major federal laws and benefits for people with a military connection. We have chosen what we think are the best web resources addressing the most common types of legal problems.  For some of the most popular topics, we have added videos, step-by-step self help guides and interactive forms.  We will also be adding more information about State-based laws and benefits as we learn about them. 

Get Help

Go to the "Find Local Help” tab to find a listing of free legal help and advocacy services.  We have included links to contact information for these categories of legal help offices:

  • Civil legal aid, providing free legal help to low-income individuals and families in every State (funded by the Legal Services Corporation)
  • Other civil legal aid providers, including private attorneys who are willing to take cases for free on a pro bono basis
  • Military legal assistance offices - including both Judge Advocate General Attorneys and military legal assistance attorneys
  • State Veterans Affairs offices
  • State Bar Sponsored "Legal Referral and Information" services.  In most cases, they will refer you to a lawyer for a free initial consultation with the expectation that you will pay the normal lawyer's fee for ongoing representation.

If you know of helpful organizations that we have not listed on the site let us know and we will add them.

About Us

The Legal Services Corporation has funded this effort, along with the hard work of many volunteers. Find more about this process and who's behind it at the “about us” tab. Go here to support this website project .

Advocates and Attorneys

We are trying to build a more active network of legal advocates around the country who are interested in providing pro bono services representation to those who serve.  To encourage this collboration we have posted research materials for advocates.  You can find these by browing through the library or by using the search function.  Materials geared toward advocates are marked with a blue "advocate" triangle. 

During 2013 we will also be adding a volunteer bulletin board where organizations with legal help projects can put out calls for volunteers. We hope  that law students, retired lawyers and others will find appropriate volunteer opportunities there.

Help us. If you are an advocate or attorney who would like to point out a helpful online resource, contribute content or request that we address a specific legal problem, use our feedback form.

This is a national website.  This means that we provide information about the laws and benefits that apply in every State.  Most States have local laws and benefit programs that also apply to you.  We will identify local laws and benefits as we learn about them.  You can also find more about state-specific laws on your civil legal services' Statewide Website.

Important Notice: We are providing this information as a public service.  It is not legal advice.  By sending you this information, we are not acting as your lawyer.  Always consult a lawyer, if you can, before taking legal action.

If you have suggestions on how to serve you better, please use our feedback form.