User Guide

Welcome to the Michigan Legal Help Website!

This video will show you how to use this website. You can use this site even if you don’t have a lot of experience with the internet.

You can use this website to find legal information, or to find a lawyer or someone else who may be able to help you with your legal problem.

Start by searching for the information you need. You can use the search box at the top of the page. Or, you can click on a subject area under “Self Help Tools.”

To use the search box, click the magnifying glass in the top right and then type your legal problem in the box that says, “search for your legal issue.” Try using just a few words, not a whole sentence. For example, instead of “My landlord hasn’t returned my security deposit,” use “security deposit.” Then hit “enter” on your keyboard, or click on the magnifying glass next to the search bar. If your search works, you will get a list of Articles, Forms, and Toolkits. If your search doesn’t work, try a different word or phrase, or search by subject area instead.

To search by subject area, look under Self-Help Tools for the area that covers your legal problem. For example, if you want to learn about divorce, click on “Family.” Then your screen will have a list of Articles, Forms, and Toolkits about that subject.  

When you see a list of results you can filter them so there are fewer to choose from. You can filter by Content Type or by Legal Issue. For example, if you only want to see articles, click on Articles under Content Type. If you only want to see forms, click on Forms. If you only want to see things about child support, click on child support under Legal Issue.  You can see more results by clicking the “next” button at the end of the list.

You can click on any item to look at it. You can choose to select your county at the top of the page. This gives you specific information and instructions for your county, if available. It also gives you a list of legal and community resources in your area that may be able to help you. Select the county you live in, or the county where you have a court case. To change your county, click on the county name and pick a different county from the list.

You can also use the Guide to Legal Help to get personalized legal information and referrals tailored to you. By telling the Guide what type of information you are looking for, it will put the most relevant information at the top of your results page. For example, if you are looking for a lawyer, your results page will list referrals to lawyers at the top. The questions about your location, household size, income, and other characteristics help the guide to know whether you might be eligible for a free legal services lawyer. Even if you do not have low income, the Guide will give you information about how to find a lawyer in your area. The Guide will also list articles, toolkits, forms and other resources that may help you with your legal issue.

If there is a toolkit for your legal problem, it is the best place to start. Toolkits have Articles, Common Questions, Forms, and other resources. Some toolkits have Checklists which are step-by-step instructions telling you what to do after you have filled out forms.

Whether you are looking at a Toolkit, an Article, or a Form, your screen will have boxes on the right side to help you find more resources. These boxes can help you find a Lawyer, a Self-Help Center, or other Community Services in your county. You can also find Information about Courts and Agencies here, if your legal problem is one that might end up in a court or agency.

You can also search directly for this information. Under the heading Organizations and Courts, click on Find A Lawyer, Self-Help Centers, Community Services, or Courts and Agencies. Select your county, and filter by what kind of legal problem you have. Click on the name of any organization or court to learn more.

Any time you are looking at something on Michigan Legal Help you can click on the buttons in the upper right hand side to print, e-mail, or share what you are reading. You can also Tell Us What You Think by taking our survey at the top of the page. If you need more help, there are videos on other pages of the site. Click on the Videos link at the bottom of the site to see all the videos.

If you get stuck, you can click on LiveHelp. If LiveHelp is available, you can use it to ask for help using the website. You cannot get legal advice through LiveHelp, but you may get answers to other questions. If LiveHelp is offline, you can leave a message and someone will e-mail you back.

Thank you for taking the time to learn more about how to use the Michigan Legal Help website. For more information, you can look at the User Guide. Good luck!