Frequently Asked Questions
Free Legal Hotlines
Volunteering at TAP is a rewarding opportunity to give back to the community and learn a lot in the process. The attorneys and staff who work here are always willing to teach and are genuinely committed to finding solutions to domestic violence. As a hotline volunteer, I enjoy having one-on-one contact with the people TAP serves because I hear the relief in their voices that someone is here to help. This is a wonderful organization with great people who strive to make a difference in women's lives.
Before You Call
You must have a civil legal problem.
Our hotlines cannot assist with criminal problems, including traffic tickets. If you are unsure whether you have a civil legal problem, please go ahead and call. Our attorneys can advise or provide referrals for the following areas:
- Domestic violence and sexual assault (including protective orders)
- Custody and child support
- Public benefits
- Powers of attorney
Don't wait to call.
Many legal problems are made worse when people delay asking for assistance. Additionally, many legal remedies are time-sensitive.
Gather facts and documents before you call.
The hotline attorneys will be able to give you better advice if you have specific and accurate information. If you are calling with questions about a court order, please have a copy of the order on hand.
What to Expect
You will be asked for personal information.
You will first speak to an Intake Specialist, who will gather information to verify that you qualify for our services, such as income and number of household members. We also gather other personal information, such as date of birth, zip code, and marital status. All information is kept confidential and is protected by the attorney-client privilege. Your information will never be shared or sold.
You will be asked to describe your legal problem.
Please identify your legal problem as briefly as possible (example: "I'd like to divorce my abusive partner."). The hotline attorneys will ask for more detailed information during your hotline consultation.
An attorney will return your call.
If your legal matter is appropriate for the hotline, one of the hotline attorneys will return your call within three to five business days. Please have a callback number ready when you call. Depending on your unique situation, here is what you might expect:
- Legal advice over the telephone
- More detailed information sent to you by mail
- Brief service (e.g., limited legal research)
- Referral to other agencies in your area for further assistance
Get the most from your call.
Stay focused on the call.
You will get the most out of the call if the TV is turned off and the children are safely somewhere else so you can focus on your conversation with the attorney.
Do not take another call or ask the attorneys to hold.
Staff is limited and there are many individuals in need of assistance. Please be courteous of the staff's time.
Have your documents and a pen and paper handy.
If you have questions about a court order, please have a copy of the order on hand for reference. You may wish to make notes about the information provided by the attorney, or take down telephone numbers for additional resources.
The attorneys may give you instructions over the telephone. Don't hesitate to ask questions so you can understand. If you do not follow instructions as given, you are unlikely to get the legal outcome you desire.
Recognize that you may not get the outcome you want.
Sometimes there is no appropriate legal remedy for your problem. Please be understanding and respectful of the hotline staff.