Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc.

Serving the Tennessee counties of Shelby, Fayette, Lauderdale and Tipton.
Hablas Espanol? Póngase en contacto con nosotros en el (901) 523-8822.
Mals 40th

Welcome to Memphis Area Legal Services, Inc.’s Website

Harrison D. McIverMemphis Area Legal Services, Inc. (MALS) entered its fifth decade with the same commitment and determination that inspired 30 members of the legal profession in the wake of Dr. Martin Luther King’s death to coalesce around a shared vision to establish an organization whose single purpose was to provide means by which the legal problems of the poor could be addressed.

Today, MALS continues that tradition of "excellence in legal advocacy," as a non-profit law firm geared to provide the highest quality legal assistance possible to the most vulnerable residents of our community. 

Even with a dedicated staff, it cannot meet the overwhelming need today because the "justice gap" is widening exacerbated by the economic woes of our time. As the recent national census reveal, more than 57 million individuals live at or below the poverty line, representing an increase of 14 million since the 2000 census.

While MALS is completely aware of the economics of the times, but notwithstanding, should this community not support legal services to the most vulnerable members of our community – individuals with limited income, largely women and children, the elderly, and the disabled, it will mean the difference in having food , shelter, income and living in a safe and healthy environment.

What can you do? Simply, volunteer your time willingly and generously contribute $325.00 minimally, or just give what you are able to give to the 2013 Campaign for Equal Justice.

Again, welcome to our website and thank you! We hope you find it informative and leave with a better understanding of the various activities and important services we provide our community.
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Client Services


In addition to traditional client services provided through normal intake procedures, and with the help of special funding and support, MALS operates the following projects and provides additional services to clients in various areas.  Participation in some programs may require specific eligibility.

EarnBenefits Program
Through funding from SEEDCO, MALS conducts an EarnBenefits program which provides convenient screenings for dozens of programs that connect individuals to benefits in areas including Health and Nutrition, Families and Children, and Education and Income.  It all starts with one simple call, (901) 523-8822, ext. 442.

Family Law Advice Group (FLAG)
MALS’ office located 899-A Highway 51 South in Covington, TN, hosts a Family Law Advice Group meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month from 3 pm to 5 pm.   During the meetings, members of our staff discuss and answer questions about divorce, the Parenting Plan law, mediation and child support.  If you are interested, please contact us at (901) 476-1808 to be screened for participation.  Residents of Fayette and Lauderdale counties may call toll free (888) 207-6386.

Home Preservation Project
The Home Preservation Project at MALS was created to help the tens of thousands of families in Shelby, Tipton, Lauderdale and Fayette counties who face the prospect of losing their homes to foreclosure in the coming months, largely as a result of irresponsible lending practices.  This program is available free of charge to anyone having trouble meeting their mortgage obligations.  It utilizes attorneys working closely with trained foreclosure counselors to restructure loans to allow the homeowners to succeed in paying their mortgage, retaining their home, and acquiring wealth by building equity in their home. If you or someone you know is facing potential foreclosure, please contact the Home Preservation Project at (901) 255-3444.      

Memphis Fair Housing Center
The Memphis Fair Housing Center, through funding from federal and local grants, provides legal assistance to victims of fair housing discrimination and predatory lending, renters with landlord/tenant issues, and those facing foreclosure due to mortgage default.  To apply for assistance, call (901) 432-4663.
Opportunity Plus Program (OPP)
The OPP provides domestic violence victims the opportunity to become self-sufficient and self -sustaining survivors through intense case-management, referrals, counseling, and financial assistance.  Participants in the program are selected on a case-by-case basis.  If you are victim of domestic violence and interested in participating in the OPP or to get more information, please call (901) 523-8890 or (901) 523-8822 ext. 190.

Pro Se Divorce Workshop
MALS holds a monthly pro se divorce workshop in its Memphis and Covington office locations.  Aimed at low-income couples wishing to pursue a divorce without the expense of retaining an attorney, these workshops provide individuals with information and materials necessary for filing a pro se (Latin term meaning “for self”) divorce in court.  Members of our staff provide forms needed to file and complete an uncontested no–asset divorce, assist in completing the forms, answer questions and give information about the legal issues and procedures involved.  Click here to learn more about whether you might qualify for participation in this workshop.  Please contact us at (901) 523-8822 to be screened for participation at our Memphis office and at (901) 476-1808 (or (888) 207-6386 if calling from Fayette or Lauderdale County) to be screened for participation at our Covington office. 

Rural Outreach Legal Clinic
MALS conducts an outreach legal clinic each Thursday, from 9am to 3pm, at the Fayette County Commission on Aging, referred to by locals as “The Senior Center,” located at 108 Kay Drive in Somerville, Tennessee. While we make every effort to see walk-in applicants, to ensure an opportunity to talk with our staff, you are encouraged to call (901) 476-1808 (or (888) 207-6386 if calling from Fayette or Lauderdale County), to make an appointment. Please note that adjustments may be made to clinic dates and times due to conflicting court dates, emergencies or other special circumstances.

Supportive Services for Veteran Families
With funding from the Veterans Administration, veterans and their families who are homeless or are in imminent danger of becoming homeless receive assistance though the Housing First model to find housing or retain housing. Veterans are also referred for medical, mental health, employment, and other services needed to promote housing stability. Those requiring legal assistance are provided a MALS attorney to provide legal and housing counseling, representation in court or at administrative hearings (other than at the VA), and negotiation with landlords. Program case workers provide supportive services and encourage veterans to become self-sufficient and maintain stability in housing. MALS assists participants in completing requirements for obtaining VA, TANF, Medicaid and SNAP benefits and in applying for vocational, educational, employment, mental health, and healthcare services. Qualified veterans can receive rental and utility assistance, payment of moving costs, and transportation child care expenses. For assistance through this project, please call (901) 432-4100 or click here to see the brochure.

University of Memphis Legal Clinics
MALS and the University of Memphis School of Law operate a legal clinic, through which third-year law students from the Law School, working under the direct supervision of a licensed attorney-instructor, provide legal advice and court representation to clients.  Located in the Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law at 1 N. Front St., the legal clinics are a part of MALS’ Private Attorney Involvement program, to which clients are referred through our normal intake procedures.