Legal Aid's mission is to secure justice and resolve fundamental problems for those who have low incomes and are vulnerable by providing high-quality legal services and working for systemic solutions.
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 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 63 full-time attorneys, 44 other staff, and more than 3,000 volunteer lawyers, of which 500 are engaged in a case or clinic annually.
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.
The resolution of legal cases is often life-changing. For example, as a result of legal proceedings for domestic violence, one client reported that her husband finally sought recovery services for his addiction to alcohol. She says, “Me and my children can finally have peace.” Another client who benefited from Legal Aid’s representation emphatically stated, “I now have enough money to eat.”
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. The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland is the only nonprofit dedicated to addressing the civil legal needs of Northeast Ohio’s poor, marginalized, and disenfranchised. 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 --