Meeting Community Needs through Pro Bono
The LAWO Pro Bono Legal Services Program matches volunteer private attorneys with low-income people in need of our services. Your time and expertise are needed to provide pro bono clients in your community quality legal representation.
The economic slowdown has taken its toll on the 32-counties served by LAWO, with thousands of hard-working people living in poverty. Facing critical budget shortfalls for the past three years, LAWO continues to rely on pro bono programs to secure volunteer lawyers. The time, hard work, and dedication of local volunteer attorneys make it possible to reach even more clients.
Pro bono attorneys help fill the gaps for those who would otherwise go unrepresented in legal matters that affect their lives and the lives of their families. ABLE and LAWO maintains long standing partnerships with pro bono legal services programs, including the Greater Dayton/Miami Valley Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) and the Toledo Bar Association (TBA) Pro Bono Legal Services Program. Both programs, along with the LAWO and ABLE Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) program work with thousands of lawyers each year who represent thousands of low income clients throughout our service area. The programs provide opportunities in a number of legal areas for attorneys and other legal professionals to find meaningful pro bono work. Volunteer lawyers also participate in outreach programs, run local pro se clinics, make community legal education presentations, and co-counsel cases with other volunteers and legal aid attorneys. LAWO is a major funder of the VLP and the TBA Pro Bono Legal Services Program.
How you can get involved.
Free seminars and CLE credits are available to those attorneys who are willing to take a few cases each year. All clients are screened to determine income eligibility. The case is then matched with a volunteer attorney according to his or her expressed area of interest. Participating attorneys have control over the types of cases they accept. Support services are provided for those attorneys representing low-income clients, until the case is closed.
We are looking for attorneys to help in the following areas:
If each private attorney agrees to accept just a few cases each year, the community's need for low-income assistance will dramatically decrease.
Do you have a client who can't afford to pay for your services?
Helping Faith to give back to the community.
Faith is a private attorney who was looking to give back to her community. When the foreclosure crisis hit, she volunteered with Legal Aid and received training and support for pro bono cases. Her first client, a single parent with several young children, was not able to make the monthly payments on her limited income. When served with a foreclosure notice, her client had filed an answer with the court on her own and the court ruled in favor of the lender.
Faith took the case and worked with several Legal Aid attorneys to determine if there was a basis for filing an appeal. As a result of key legal issues identified by the team of attorneys, Faith was able to file the appeal and then negotiate a very favorable settlement for her client.
Thanks to Faith and the expert advice provided by a Legal Aid team of foreclosure defense experts, the client and her children are able to stay in their home with a manageable payment plan.