User Guide

Welcome to the Michigan Legal Help 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, type your legal problem in the box that says, “Search for your legal problem.” 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, Toolkits, and a Toolkit Guide. 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, Toolkits and a Toolkit Guide 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 eviction, click on eviction 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 will be asked to select your county. This gives you specific information and instructions for your county. 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.

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. Toolkit guides help you find the right toolkit.

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, Community Services, or a Self-Help Center in your county. You can also find Court Information here, if your legal problem is one that might end up in court.

You can also search directly for these referrals. Under the heading Organizations and Courts, click on Find A Lawyer, Community Services, Court Information, or Self-Help Centers. 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, email, 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 email you back.

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