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Computer kiosks designed to connect rural Montana residents with free legal help are now available.

With funding through a federal grant, the kiosks have been set up in the Roosevelt Public Library in Wolf Point, the Custer County Courthouse in Miles City and the Fergus County Courthouse in Lewistown.

The computers allow people access to free online legal help and forms. People who have questions can use the computer to link to a “live chat” with a staff member of Montana Legal Services Association, an organization that provides free legal assistance for civil cases to low-income residents.

The kiosks are part of a collaborative effort by the legal services organization, the Montana Law Library, the Montana Supreme Court Office of Court Administrator and Pro Bono Net, a national nonprofit organization. Each kiosk cost about $2,500. That figure does not include the cost of staff time to respond to inquiries, said Michelle Hauer of Montana Legal Services Association.

The same free legal help is available on the Internet at MontanaLawHelp.org.

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