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What are my rights when I come to Legal Aid for help?



People come to Legal Aid for help with fundamental problems related to housing, health, family, money, or work. Legal Aid provides legal representation, self-help assistance, advice, information and referrals to help resolve these issues. When contacting Legal Aid for assistance, a person should experience high quality services. “High quality services” include the “Six C’s”: Courteous Treatment, Competence, Confidentiality, Communication, Avoiding Conflicts of Interest, and the Right to Make Complaints.

Courteous Treatment
You should experience courteous and respectful treatment by everyone that you interact with when contacting Legal Aid. Our staff and volunteers should be respectful and understanding of your particular situation.

Competence
You should experience competent assistance and representation by our staff and volunteers. The Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct require that we have the legal knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation necessary to provide effective assistance when delivering services.

Confidentiality
Your information shared with Legal Aid must be kept confidential. Our staff and volunteers must get your permission before sharing any information related to your case that you provide to Legal Aid.

Communication
You should receive regular updates on the status of your legal matter. Our staff and volunteers should promptly respond to your questions and phone calls. You should receive enough information so that you can make informed decisions about your case.

Conflicts of Interest
You are entitled to loyalty by Legal Aid staff and volunteers. This means that we cannot represent you if doing so conflicts with our representation of other clients. We will never represent you and the person on the other side of your case at the same time.

Complaints
You have the option of making a complaint to Legal Aid if you feel that you were unfairly denied legal assistance or if you are unhappy with the assistance provided by Legal Aid. You may complain orally or writing. Information about the complaint process is available in all offices, and online at http://lasclev.org/wp-content/uploads/Grievance-Form-and-Instructions-Form-2-4.24.2012.pdf. Mail it to the Deputy Director at 1223 W 6th St, Cleveland, OH 44113 or emailing it to grievance@lasclev.org.

Legal Aid tries to provide some type of assistance to as many people as possible, but we cannot help everyone who contacts us. The Six C’s help ensure people have a quality experience when contacting Legal Aid.

 

This article was written by Jasmine Boutros and appeared in The Alert: Volume 31, Issue 2. Click here to read a full PDF of this issue!