OILS does not accept fee-generating cases, which are cases where a financial benefit may accrue. Those cases will generally be referred to a private attorney. An applicant cannot be involved in a criminal case, including being on probation or a deferred sentence. Additionally, OILS’s Board of Directors establishes case guidelines based upon feedback from interested parties and surveys in the Indian community. The vast majority of cases accepted will be within these guidelines, although OILS will sometimes deviate from these guidelines to address a matter of importance that is unexpected or would result in a great miscarriage of justice.
Tribes and Indian organizations may also be represented by OILS if their group fits certain requirements. They must show that they lack the resources to hire an attorney, and that their legal problem has a significant impact on the rights of the general Indian population. Tribes may also contract with OILS to assist them with legal services such as the preparation of tribal codes or regulations. In those situations, OILS may be paid with tribal funds.
In order to seek services, an applicant can contact OILS at (405) 943-6457 or 1-800-658-1497 during regular business hours. An application takes about fifteen minutes to complete. OILS does not take applications in person; you must complete the application by telephone.
If OILS cannot assist the applicant, OILS may be able to provide advice or refer the person to another resources who can provide assistance. OILS tries to respond to all applications with ten working days of reception.