Legal Aid’s mission is to 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.
Founded in 1905, Legal Aid is the fifth oldest legal aid organization in the United States. Legal Aid’s 50 staff attorneys, 35 other staff members, and 1,600 volunteer lawyers ensure access to justice for low income people.
Legal Aid has four offices and serves clients in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties.
Legal Aid represents clients in court and in administrative hearings. We also provide advice and brief assistance. Legal Aid handles cases that impact on basic needs such as health, shelter and safety, economics and education, and access to justice. Legal Aid’s attorneys practice in the areas of consumer rights, domestic violence, education, employment, family law, health, housing, foreclosure, immigration, public benefits, utilities, and tax.
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Legal Aid’s Volunteer Lawyers Program provides numerous volunteer opportunities for attorneys and law students.
Legal Aid serves a diverse group of clients.
All of Legal Aid’s clients are low income people who live in or have a legal problem in Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, or Lorain County.
Currently, 73% of clients are female and 27% are male. 20% are older adults. 53% are African-American, 35% are white, and 6% are Latino.
Legal Aid provides advice and representation in the areas of consumer rights, domestic violence, education, employment, family law, health, housing, foreclosure, immigration, public benefits, utilities, and tax. Legal Aid represents clients in municipal, common pleas and federal courts, in appellate courts, before administrative agencies, and in a variety of other settings.
Legal Aid staff and volunteers provide community outreach and education by attending community events and making educational presentations.
Legal Aid staff work to identify board based solutions to systemic issues which affect the low income population in Northeast Ohio. Legal Aid addresses systemic issues through lawsuits, advocacy efforts, and education of decision-makers.
Legal Aid has a diverse staff. Many of Legal Aid’s attorneys have worked with Legal Aid for more than 20 years. Others are recent law school graduates. Legal Aid’s attorneys have developed expertise in the areas in which they practice. They have all chosen to serve the community and to represent vulnerable and low income clients.
Legal Aid’s volunteers are also diverse and also committed to the premise of equal justice. They are from large, small firms, and solo practice, government agencies, and law schools. They provide advice and extended representation to clients who would otherwise have no access to an attorney.
Legal Aid has three main areas of focus:
Access to Justice
Legal Aid works to increase capacity for services, engage pro bono (volunteer) support, and expand outreach to underserved and vulnerable communities, including those with limited English proficiency.
Economics and Education
Legal Aid protects rights to income and assets, and removes barriers to employment, vocational training, and education.
Health, Shelter and Safety
By securing safety for victims of domestic abuse, retaining decent and affordable housing for clients, and increasing access to health care, Legal Aid helps to build strong communities.
Legal Aid does not charge for services. However, clients may need to pay a fee to the court for their case.
Legal Aid is a nonprofit organization, recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS and as a public charity in the State of Ohio.
Legal Aid receives funding from the Legal Services Corporation (federal appropriation), the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation (IOLTA and filing fees), United Ways, Area Agencies on Aging, other federal grants, and generous support from foundations, corporations, law firms and thousands of individual donors.
The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is a nonprofit organization governed by a board of directors. Legal Aid is recognized as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS and registered as a charity in the State of Ohio.