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Volunteer Commercial Litigators Serve Columbus, Ohio, Residents Through Innovative Pro Bono Program

In Columbus, Ohio, one innovative pro bono program uses volunteer attorneys—including prominent commercial litigators—to combat the housing and eviction crisis.

As a result of the uniquely high number of evictions in Columbus, many tenants find themselves unrepresented in their cases. To combat this problem, the Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) piloted the Pro Bono Tenant Advocacy Project, a pro bono program focused on eviction issues. The housing clinic successfully provided a variety of legal services to individuals facing eviction through volunteer attorneys and staff for several years.

Unfortunately, the program lost significant funding and the LASC was forced to discontinue the program in 2011 and consider other options to combat the housing crisis. The following year, with the assistance of the Columbus Bar Association’s Pro Bono Committee, the LASC created a Volunteer Resource Center (the “VRC”), which ultimately had over 140 volunteer lawyers from the Columbus legal community. Retired attorneys provided leadership to the VRC, and volunteer lawyers assisted with landlord/tenant issues as well as other important cases for those who had no access to justice. Even with the creation of the VRC, however, there were still hundreds of individuals whose needs could not be adequately served.

 

Read the rest of the story at https://www.americanbar.org/groups/litigation/committees/commercial-business/spotlight/2018/volunteer-commercial-litigators-serve-columbus-ohio-residents-through-innovative-pro-bono-program.html

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