Legal Aid's mission is to secure justice, equity, and access to opportunity for and with people who have low incomes through passionate legal representation and advocacy for systemic change. This mission centers on our vision for Northeast Ohio to be a place in which all people experience dignity and justice, free from poverty and oppression. Learn more by reviewing the highlights from Legal Aid's current Strategic Plan.
We carry out our mission every day by providing legal services at no cost to clients with low incomes, helping ensure fairness for all in the justice system—regardless of how much money a person has.
Legal Aid uses the power of the law to improve safety and health, promote education and economic security, secure stable and decent housing, and improve accountability and accessibility of government and justice systems. By solving fundamental problems for those with low incomes, we remove barriers to opportunity and help people achieve greater stability.
Legal Aid handles cases that impact basic needs such as health, shelter and safety, economics and education, and access to justice. Our attorneys practice in the areas of consumer rights, domestic violence, education, employment, family law, health, housing, foreclosure, immigration, public benefits, utilities, and tax.
Our group of highly passionate, knowledgeable, and experienced professionals includes 70+ full-time attorneys, 50+ other staff, along with more than 3,000 volunteer lawyers, of which 500 are engaged in a case or clinic annually.
In 2022, Legal Aid served 21,700 people through nearly 8,000 cases, and we supported thousands more through our community legal education and outreach efforts.
On any given day, Legal Aid attorneys:
- Represent clients in court and administrative hearings;
- Provide brief advice through one-on-one consultations or at neighborhood legal clinics;
- Present legal education and other outreach in community locations like public libraries and schools; and
- Advocate for improved policies that affect low-income populations.
In the United States, individuals and families in poverty do have the same legal rights as wealthier families. But without representation from a knowledgeable attorney, their rights are often not exercised. As the only civil legal aid provider in Northeast Ohio, Legal Aid plays a unique and critical role in our region. The financial situations of our clients are often tenuous, and their legal struggles can quickly lead to a cascade of consequences. Our services level the legal playing field by giving a voice to the voiceless. Legal Aid often tips the scale between shelter and homelessness, safety and danger, and economic security and poverty.
Founded in 1905, The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is the fifth oldest legal aid organization in the United States. We operate four offices and serve residents of Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Lorain counties. Learn more through this video ---