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From Crain’s Cleveland Business: NE Ohio legal aid groups cancel events and clinics into April, but still serving clients and accepting applications

Posted March 13, 2020
3:40 pm

Written by Jeremy Nobile in Crain's Cleveland Business on 3/13/2019. 

Northeast Ohio nonprofit legal aid groups are canceling some events and workshops for the next several weeks in light of Gov. Mike DeWine's March 12 ban on "mass gatherings," but are otherwise continuing to serve clients amid the COVID-19 pandemic — at least for now — though they're attempting to do that remotely as much as possible.

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland said all walk-in intake in Cuyahoga Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake and Lorain counties is suspended until further notice. Meanwhile, its neighborhood and community-based legal clinics have been canceled through April.

Here's the organization's full statement:

The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland will continue to serve clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this time of uncertainty, people will have legal needs related to shelter, safety and economic security — and Legal Aid remains committed to meeting those needs. Concurrently, we are taking steps to limit community spread and ensure the health and safety of our staff and visitors.

Legal Aid will be closed on Monday, March 16, 2020, to prepare the organization for alternative operations. Starting March 17, Legal Aid will only do new client intake online and via phone. Walk-in intake in our Cleveland, Elyria, Painesville and Jefferson offices is suspended until further notice.

Those needing civil legal assistance can apply online 24/7 at or weekdays by calling 888-817-3777. Those with non-legal questions related to landlord-tenant and other rental issues can also call our Tenant Information Line at 216-861-5955 (Cuyahoga) or 440-210-4533 (Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Lorain counties).

Legal Aid is seeking to limit foot traffic at its offices. Potential visitors should call before coming to an office. Current clients should continue to work with their attorneys and anticipate handling matters by phone and electronically to the extent possible.

Legal Aid will keep the public updated about changes to intake and other activities and events via and social media channels — including Facebook and Twitter.

Community Legal Aid of Akron

Community Legal Aid 
said it remains open but is canceling public clinics and workshops through at least April 10. The group also is encouraging online and phone applications in lieu of in-person intake.

Here's that organization's full statement:

Community Legal Aid is still open for business and is taking precautions in the midst of the coronavirus.

"We care about our community, and we're doing our part to help prevent spreading any infectious disease," said Steven McGarrity, executive director of Legal Aid. "But we're also remaining diligent in helping people address the legal crises they may be facing and want the public to know we're still here."

McGarrity said the nonprofit law firm is following recommendations by the governor's office to limit large-scale events, and will be canceling all public workshops/clinics through April 10.

"We're reaching out to clients and our partner agencies to keep them informed and to make sure they know how to still reach us," he explained.

Legal Aid also is suspending walk-in applications and is directing anyone needing assistance to apply online 24/7 at or through the Legal Aid HelpLine at (800) 998-9454 during open hours.

Current clients should continue to work with their attorneys as planned.

The organization will be keeping the public informed about events on its website and via its social media channels. For a complete, up-to-date listing of events, community members should visit members can find Legal Aid on Facebook at and can follow them on Twitter and Instagram @CommLegalAid.

Click here to read the full article in Crain's Cleveland Business. 

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