About NMRLS

NMRLS provides attorney representation and advocacy to ensure equal access to Justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.

Through constant training, self analysis, and community involvement, we provide to eligible people, the highest quality of legal and technical assistance, which improves the daily quality of life, while contributing to the attainment of social, economic, and legal equality.

North Mississippi Rural Legal Services (NMRLS) was established as a training program for law students at the University of Mississippi (Ole Miss) School of Law.

Originally called Lafayette County Legal Aid, NMRLS was considered by its organizers as a combination legal services and teaching program.

However, NMRLS soon gained statewide attention for its litigation amid the Civil Rights era that impacted hundreds of thousands of people and places across the state.

The impact is still felt today— 50 YEARS LATER.

North Mississippi Rural Legal Services (NMRLS) was established in August 1966. It is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation and has a 25-member board of directors consisting of 15 attorneys and 10 client representatives.

NMRLS began out of the University of Mississippi School of Law and continues to have a close relationship with the Law School today. Three faculty members are on the NMRLS staff.

NMRLS provides FREE, CIVIL legal services and representation to the poor, the elderly, and the disabled who may need help with family issues such as custody, adoptions, and protective orders; taxes, housing (foreclosure prevention and landlord/tenant problems); bankruptcy; and elder care (fraud prevention, wills, advanced directives and power of attorney), etc.

According to the latest U.S. Census, NMRLS’ service area is comprised of nearly 250,000 persons who are near/ or below the poverty level; therefore qualifying for NMRLS services. All clients must be U.S. citizens or legal aliens who meet strict income eligibility guidelines.

During 2015, 15 NMRLS attorneys served 19,893 citizens in North Mississippi. NMRLS offices are located in Oxford, Greenville, Clarksdale and West Point.

Our clients are as diverse as the state of Mississippi, inclusive of all genders, ethnicities, and ages. The majority of our clients are women— most of them single mothers with children.

For people who CAN afford to hire an attorney, there is one private attorney for every 450 citizens. Unfortunately, for people who CAN NOT afford an attorney, there is only one legal services attorney available for every 21,000 low income people who need free, civil legal assistance.

NMRLS has a 34-year partnership with The Mississippi Bar and the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project, in which private attorneys provide pro bono legal assistance to low-income clients in civil cases.

Mission Statement

Through constant training, self-analysis and community involvement, the mission of NMRLS is to provide to eligible people the highest quality of legal and technical assistance, which improves the daily quality of life, while contributing to the attainment of social, economic and legal equality.

Service Area

NMRLS currently services its 253,540 eligible low income population (based on 2011 American Community Survey 3-Year estimate and other sources) in the North Mississippi 39-county area with an administrative office and four (4) branch offices located in Oxford, West Point, Clarksdale and Greenville

Special Programs & Projects

  • Foreclosure Prevention Project
  • Mississippi Taxpayer Assistance Project (MTAP)
  • Low Income Tax Payer Clinic (LITC)
  • Elder Law Program
  • Street Law Clinics

Types of Cases Handled

Family 40%
Employment 14%
Housing 14%
Consumer 12%
Income Maintenance 7%
Juvenile 5%
Others 8%