Brief Advice and Referral Clinics

The Brief Advice and Referral Clinic is a neighborhood clinic staffed by members of area law firms, government agencies, or other private attorneys.

The clinics generally are conducted on a first-come, first-served basis and address a variety of civil legal problems. On occasion, a clinic will have a specialty focus, such as immigration, family law issues, employment, or consumer issues.

The clinic provides an opportunity for an individual to meet one-on-one with an attorney for a limited period of time about his or her problem. The attorney commitment for the Brief Advice & Referral Clinic is limited to trying to help that morning with advice or direction. Individuals are advised of the limited scope of attorney engagement at the time of intake triage so that there is no misunderstanding about the level of service being provided. If an attorney, however, would like to accept a case for extended representation, the case will be processed as a pro bono referral.

Brief Advice and Referral Clinic volunteer attorneys are available for brief advice and referral only.   Clinic attorneys do NOT represent you. If you need legal representation you may be referred to The Legal Aid Society of Cleveland or another service provider.

Upcoming Brief Advice Clinics


Where can I find a Clinic schedule? Close

A list of upcoming clinics is available via this link.

How do I sign up to volunteer at a Clinic? Close

For additional information or to sign up, register via this link or email

What types of cases present at Brief Advice and Referral Clinics? Close

The clinics address a variety of civil legal problems.   Typical client issues include questions about employment, foreclosure, public benefits, consumer/debt problems, landlord/tenant disputes, and family law.   On occasion, a clinic will have a specialty focus, such as immigration, family law, employment or consumer issues.

My area of practice is real estate, corporate, or tax, and I wonder if I would be able to effectively assist the Clinic customers? Close

Volunteer attorneys at the clinic are asked to consult with the Clinic customers and offer advice and direction.  It is likely you will be able to effectively assist Clinic customers even if your area of practice is defined and specialized.   You might also be interested in VLP specialty programs that specifically seek out volunteers in your practice area.  Contact us for more information and to see how your expertise may be valuable to clients.

When are the Clinics held? Close

The clinics are held at times convenient for the volunteer attorneys.  Most clinics are held on Saturday morning from 10:00 a.m. to noon.   We also hold early evening weekday clinics from 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.

Where are the Clinics held? Close

The clinics are held at neighborhood centers that are easily accessible by public transportation.

Is there any training provided by Legal Aid prior to participation in a Clinic? Close

Yes.  Legal Aid provides a brief, half-hour orientation on the morning of the clinic immediately prior to the start of the customer intake.   If a firm is staffing a clinic, we can also do the orientation session at the firm sometime during the week prior to the scheduled clinic.

What types of resources are available to volunteers once the Clinic is underway? Close

Legal Aid staff attorneys and volunteer mentor attorneys, with expertise in relevant substantive law, are also at the clinic to advise and support the volunteers, if needed. Law students from area law schools are available to help with intake “triage.” During the summer months, many of the firms have summer associates who help with the intake triage for the clinic that the firm is staffing. The clinic is a great opportunity for members of a firm to work together in a different setting.

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