The Legal Aid Society of Columbus and Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (“Legal Aid”) provide civil legal help for low-income individuals and seniors in Central and Southeastern Ohio. Legal Aid also operates a pro bono program that engages the private bar throughout our communities. In 2020, Legal Aid converted several of our pro bono programs to virtual formats so that we can continue to serve clients while minimizing health risks for volunteers, staff, and clients.
To ensure that low-income individuals can still access legal help and advice during the COVID-19 crisis, LASC and SEOLS have created a new “Virtual Clinic” model, which engages our volunteer lawyers in phone advice clinics for clients with civil legal questions.
In direct response to the expansion of unemployment compensation program, we are also launching a special Virtual Unemployment Compensation Clinic to organize volunteers to help individuals who are struggling to apply for unemployment compensation.
If you wish to help with either program, please use this form.
- Training and Resources: For the virtual advice clinics, LASC/SEOLS has a recorded training and electronic Attorney Toolkit for volunteer lawyers. We are also compiling all relevant court orders and policy changes. For Unemployment specifically, a recorded training and volunteer toolkit is available.
- Clients are scheduled for clinic slots that align with volunteer availability and are told that they should expect a call during that window of time and that the call might be restricted or blocked (if volunteers are calling from cell phones)
- Prior to the clinic time, LASC/SEOLS Pro Bono Team staff will match clients with volunteers via a virtual referral email, which will include the client’s intake and contact information, contact information for our staff attorney mentor who is “on call” for the clinic, and a link to a case reporting form that we will ask the volunteer to complete after the consultation. Report link here.
- During the consultation, volunteers will initiate the call. We recommend that the Unemployment Project volunteers have computer access so that they can help complete an online application if necessary.
- Pro Bono Program Generally: LASC/SEOLS supplies primary malpractice coverage for all volunteers, training resources, and access to attorney mentors. You can accrue one hour of general CLE for every six hours you volunteer, up to a total of six CLE hours per reporting period. Emeritus and Corporate Status also are also eligible to and encouraged to volunteer.
LASC and SEOLS provide primary malpractice coverage to all attorneys. For those who need it, a brief advice clinic training is recorded, and an Attorney Toolkit will be provided. Please direct questions to Director of Pro Bono & Community Engagement Dianna Parker at .
|We are fortunate to work with amazing volunteers. Hear from a few of them and Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French in our new video, produced by the Ohio State Bar Association!|
Will you join us?