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Civil/Commercial Litigation (Lawsuits)/Can I get a law student to help me?


I currently have no monies. A pro bono lawyer from Legal aid is not available in my area as supposedly their case load is too big.

So I'm by myself up against the Dept of Labor for what I believe to be wrongly denied compensation on an appeal; My denial stated I did not show good cause because I did not send a copy of my medical report to my former company before the hearing & that the doctor's letter I did submit to the DOL was unreadable so could not be used as evidence. I don't know what condition it was in after faxing it in for the hearing & since the hearing was done on a conference call I couldn't see it. By the way, my boss did not say I was fired or give any bad report against me, he honestly acknowledged he was aware of my medical issues but the company had more work for me.

Now in reading a little further on this, if I was suppose to have sent my doctor papers into my company before the hearing, then shouldn't I have been sent a copy of why the company was appealing to not pay unemployment? I never received any type of disclosure before or after the hearing. Would that be grounds to file an appeal in court? This time I can obtain all my doctor reports over the past year & make sure they are readable and ask a hearing from a judge who is not working for the
DOL for his consideration on the matter.

So I did submit the form for another appeal with the DOL but was denied ( interestingly by the same guy who conducted the hearing).

So I have some questions since my only recourse is to file in a civil court. Is it possible to obtain a last year law student for help? Do I file in small claims court since the amount in question owed to me was aprox $1800 or must I go to a different court? Can I file in any district or does it have to be in the city where the DOL is located?

Hope you can help me, or tell me who can. I'm starting to pull my hair out! Thank you for your time.

Greetings Christine,

Before I respond further to your question, I must make clear that I do not represent you, and cannot give you individual particularized legal advice. No attorney client relationship is created by this email. For legal advice, you should hire your own attorney, and follow their advice. My role with AllExperts is limited to providing general information and suggestions for educational or general knowledge purposes. Before you take any action, consult with your own attorney.

In my state, our unemployment system is defined by statute, MN. Stat. 268.  A good place for you to begin would be to find the similar statute in effect in your location.  Here, a party may appeal a decision on reconsideration from the unemployment ALJ (administrative law judge) to the Minnesota Court of Appeals, MN. Stat. 268.105 Subd. 7.

I suggest you review the law in your area and hire a lawyer licensed in your state to help you follow the rules and get your case handled properly.  While I like your idea of hiring a law student if you feel that you can't afford a licensed attorney, that may not be effective or prudent.  In my state, the authorized practice of law is restricted by statute, MN. Stat. 481.02.  In some situations, including my personal experience when I was a student, sometimes student attorneys can work on cases.  The rules here are controlled by a Board of Law Examiners.  You may do well to inquire with law schools in your area.  Also, local courthouses are often a good resource for pro se folks to get help in litigating their case and finding legal assistance.

I hope this helps, good luck to you and your foundation.

Morgan Smith
Minneapolis, Minnesota
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Morgan Smith


Civil litigation (contract claims, landlord-tenant actions, forfeiture suits, residential construction defect matters), Family law (divorce, custody modifications, child support modifications, and pre-nuptial agreement), new business start-ups, civil forfeiture, asset forfeiture. Please do not submit your question as Private. It is my policy not to answer Private questions from members of the public here on AllExperts; I reserve that function to my private clients. Although AllExperts permits me to change your questions from Private to Public, it is my policy not to do that. I encourage you to resubmit your question as a public question. Your public question has the potential to help others with similar concerns. I suggest that you use a pretend name and otherwise alter sensitive facts that make you inclined to treat your question as Private, and submit your question to me Publicly.


I've been practicing law in the State of Minnesota since 1995. I've worked in skyscraper firms, and now my own small firm in Minneapolis. Past answers from my earlier participation on AllExperts is posted at:

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