About the Legal Advice & Counseling program
ERA’s Legal Advice & Counseling Program offers free, confidential legal help to people who experienced or are currently experiencing gender discrimination at school or work, including sexual harassment, sexual assault, pregnancy discrimination, discrimination in pay, hiring, or promotion, harassment based on gender identity, and more. (See below for a more detailed list, under “ERA can help with the following issues.”)
If we’re able to help, the types of services we might be able to provide include: legal advice, legal information, referrals to attorneys, referrals to non-legal services, brief legal services, and/or legal representation.
Please note: This program cannot help with emergencies. If you are experiencing a time-sensitive issue, we will do our best to meet your deadlines, but we cannot guarantee immediate help. Please let us know at the top of your inquiry form if you have an upcoming deadline.
How to contact us
The best way to contact us is by filling out one of our online intake forms.
- Work-related: Click here to fill out the Employment intake form.
- School-related: Click here to fill out the Education intake form.
Before applying, please read the “What We Can Help With” section below to make sure your issue is one our attorneys can help with.
When filling out the online inquiry form, please be specific when telling us about your problem or issue. For example:
- My coworker has made unwanted sexual advances towards me.
- I was sexually assaulted by a classmate.
- I’m being bullied because I’m gay.
- My boss refuses to use my pronouns and uses the pronouns associated with my assigned sex.
Unfortunately, we cannot help if:
- Your issue falls outside our current practice areas listed below.
- You are already being represented by an attorney on this issue.
- There is a legal conflict with your issue/matter. For example, we cannot help you if we have already agreed to help the opposing party in your case.
- You do not respond to communications or answer during the scheduled intake call.
- You are abusive to our staff.
I feel like these ladies were there by her side through everything — how they worked with her and how they fought for her, how they were there and they never gave up. They’re so dedicated to what they do, and they don’t give up. They fight.Flor, mother of ERA high school student client
What we can help with
Our legal advocates can help with the following issues.
At school (K-12, college, university, or post-secondary education institution):
- Sexual assault, sexual harassment, or gender-based harassment by another student, teacher, coach, staff, or other faculty member;
- Sexual assault, harassment, or other gender-based harassment targeting an LGBTQIA+ student; and
- Unequal opportunities for LGBTQIA+ students, women, nonbinary, or gender non-conforming individuals at school or education-related programs.
- Sexual harassment, sexual assault, or gender-based harassment by another employee, supervisor, contractor (i.e. delivery person), or client. (Gender-based harassment includes behavior that targets LGBTQIA+ individuals);
- Discrimination in pay, promotion, or opportunities based on gender identity or perceived gender, including misclassification that results in unfair pay or promotion;
- Pregnancy and parenting discrimination, including family leave; and
- Adverse decisions made about one’s job title, duties, or continued employment because of gender identity or perceived gender.
How long it will take & what to expect
Because our Legal Advice & Counseling Program clients receive free, personalized, professional legal services, the overall process usually takes between 3-5 weeks from the time you fill out the online application form, to the time we are able to complete the services provided. The length of time varies depending on the complexity of your legal problem and the number of inquiries we receive.
Here’s how it will go:
Step 1: Fill out the online inquiry form.
Step 2: You’ll get an email from us.
- If your issue is something we can help with, you will receive a scheduling link where you can select an available appointment time to speak with one of our intake workers on the phone.
- If your issue is not something we can help with, you will receive an email response informing you of this with some helpful resources included.
1 – 3 weeks later…
Step 3: At your scheduled appointment time, you’ll receive a phone call from us. The phone conversation will last about 1 hour.
- The purpose of the conversation is for us to understand your legal problem so we can determine how we might be able to help you.
- Please note: If you do not answer the phone call at your appointment time, you will have to select a new appointment time through the scheduling link in the original email. This process may take up to an additional 2 weeks.
1 week later…
Step 4: We’ll let you know how we can help.
Within 1 week of your phone conversation, we will email or call you to let you know how we can help you. Common services offered include but are not limited to:
- A letter or phone call to you providing legal advice, information, and referrals related to your legal problem;
- A letter to your employer or school advising them of the laws that exist (which they may be violating);
- Legally representing you in a pre-litigation matter, such as a school sexual misconduct (Title IX) proceeding or filing a charge with an administrative agency.
1-3 weeks later…
Step 5: You’ll receive free legal services.
- Within 1 to 3 weeks of accepting our offer of services, you will receive whatever services we agreed to provide. (Note: More in-depth services may take longer to complete.)
Step 6: What’s next?
Once we’ve helped you, we will close your case. We may refer you to another agency for additional services.
You’ll receive a survey asking for feedback on your experience. It is very important to us that you feel heard and supported throughout this process and that your legal needs are met, so we appreciate you taking the time to fill out the short survey.
Ready to get started? Apply to speak with a legal advocate by filling out one of the forms below. All services are completely free and confidential.