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The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

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by

Andy Halko

on 8 January 2015

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Transcript of The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

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Our Mission.
Secure
justice
and
resolve fundamental problems
for those who are
low-income
and
vulnerable
by providing
high-quality

legal services
and working for
systemic solutions.
Where we serve:
Our Clients
Who we are.
68 total staff.
42 attorneys
with an average of
19 years
of experience.
More than 1500
(
Pro Bono
) attorneys
Over 200
volunteer law students.
How we serve.
Reliance on Philanthropy.
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland
is founded, helping champion the principle that
rich and poor alike
are entitled to
equal treatment
under the law.
1964
Congress passes the Economic Opportunity Act: federal money is dedicated to the eradication of poverty as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s
War on Poverty.
Ohio Gov. Richard F. Celeste signs into law legislation creating The Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation.
President Richard M. Nixon signs into law an act establishing the
Legal Services Corporation.
What we do.
Legal Aid attorneys and volunteers work to achieve four goals.
Improve Safety and Health.
Legal Aid secures safety for victims of crime, increases access to health care, and works to improve health & safety of homes and neighborhoods.
Promote Education and Economic Stability.
Legal Aid improves clients’ economic security by ensuring access to employment, public benefits, other income, and education.
Secure decent, affordable housing.
Legal Aid increases availability and accessibility of affordable housing, improves housing stability and housing conditions.
Ensure Justice System and Government Entities Are Accountable and Accessible.
Legal Aid increases meaningful access to courts and government agencies for specific vulnerable populations and for persons with limited English proficiency.
The Justice Gap
80% of the civil legal needs of low-income Americans are not being met.
Setting Priorities
When someone applies for help.
Screened for eligibility.
If we have resources.
Clients are assigned to a staff attorney or volunteer lawyer, or given advice.
If we do not have the resources.
Others may be given legal information. But we cannot help everyone, so many are turned away.
Partnerships
To improve outcomes
To increase services
To increase access for clients
Legal Aid's Outcomes.
Rights.
Dignity.
Justice.
Today, Legal Aid remains committed to ensuring shelter, safety and economic security for those in need. The organization helps more than 22,000 people annually in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain Counties.
1.
2.
3.
4.
Brief Advice Clinics & Specialty Projects
Case Representation & Partnerships
1.
Information gathered about legal issue.
2.
3.
1.
What is at risk?
2.
What difference can we make?
volunteers
24 board members.
The federal Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO) creates a legal services program to increase access to
legal services for the nation’s poor.
Board of Directors votes to reorganize The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland. In lieu of contracting with private counsel, Legal Aid will have its own office and full-time staff.
Legal Aid receives funding from the newly organized Federation for Charity and Philanthropy (predecessor of
the United Way
).
About 17,000 people apply for Legal Aid's help each year.
Many more need Legal Aid's help, but never call.
How you can help.
1.
Make a financial gift.
Join more than 1200 individuals who invest in Legal Aid each year.
2.
Volunteer.
Use your unique talent to help the community.
3.
Refer Clients.
While we turn away many, we need to continually understand the needs in the community.
4.
Introduce others to Legal Aid.
Help expand Legal Aid's network of supporters and partners.
Improved Health and Safety.
Promoted Education and Economic Stability.
Secured Decent, Affordable Housing.
Ensure Access to Justice.
2 million people live in our 5-county service area.
397,000 (20%) are eligible for Legal Aid's services.
<
$29,000
43%
are cases opened with Legal Aid.
57%
of the cases are not served.
And other special vulnerable populations...
Such as 1300 U.S. Veterans and their family members
Full transcript