The Legal Resources for the Elderly Program (LREP) is a free, statewide helpline for New Mexico residents age 55 and older. The Program does not have any income restrictions. LREP can be contacted at 505-797-6005
LREP is a joint project of the New Mexico State Bar Foundation and the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department. LREP has been in existence for nearly 30 years.
Through its helpline, LREP provides legal advice and brief services to more than 4000 New Mexico seniors annually. Each caller speaks with a trained intake staff member, who collects the necessary contact and demographic information. After completing an intake, each caller who is eligible for the Program speaks to one of LREP’s five staff attorneys, each of whom is a highly qualified professional specializing in the legal issues that most affect New Mexico seniors. LREP staff attorneys provide legal advice and brief services in most areas of civil law. Two of LREP’s attorneys are fluent Spanish speakers.
LREP Examples of civil legal areas for which LREP frequently receives calls are: debt collection problems; employment issues; foreclosure; kinship guardianship; grandparent visitation; guardianship/conservatorship; landlord/tenant issues; long-term care; Medicare/Medicaid; powers of attorney; probate; Social Security Disability; transfer on death deeds; and wills and trusts.
LREP staff attorneys are able to assist most callers with their legal matters. However, in cases where a caller needs full direct representation by an attorney (as in the case of needing an attorney to appear in court or draft a legal document, such as a will or lease), the LREP attorney may refer the caller to a private attorney for assistance. These referrals are done in combination with the legal helpline. By pairing the referral service with the helpline services, LREP is able to maximize the effectiveness of the referral services for both clients and referral attorneys. LREP staff attorneys thoroughly develop and assess the client’s legal issue and ensure that only cases that cannot be resolved through the helpline itself are referred. Where a referral is appropriate, the staff attorney’s case assessment and analysis is sent to the referral attorney to assist the referral attorney with the case. Referrals are done on a full fee, reduced fee, or pro bono basis, depending on the circumstances of the case.
In addition to its helpline, LREP also offers the following legal services:
- Legal Clinics and Workshops: LREP conducts more than 20 workshops and legal clinics throughout the state each year. LREP visits every county in the state at least once every two years. LREP also staffs exhibitor tables at numerous events statewide, such as the Aging and Long-Term Services Division’s Conference on Aging, and Senior Day at the Legislature.
- Public Education and Informational Publications: LREP has set a standard in informational publications by developing the “Senior Legal Handbook” (SLH), along with a set of pamphlets collectively known as “Senior Supplements.” The SLH is a 130 page manual, published in cooperation with the State Bar, which contains clear and concise information on the areas of law most affecting NM seniors.
- Collaboration with other civil legal service providers: LREP has a successful working relationship with every major civil legal service provider (CLSP) in the state. These relationships include cross-referrals and information sharing with other CLSPs. LREP also has a close working relationship with the Aging Network in New Mexico and works closely with the Legal Assistance Developer at the New Mexico Aging and Long-Term Services Department to ensure collaboration between LREP and other agencies serving seniors in New Mexico. LREP also has a close and collaborative relationship with the State Bar of New Mexico. LREP is housed at the Bar and receives substantial direct and in-kind support from the State Bar.