Legal Aid Makes Online Connection for Low-Income Clients
Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) has launched a new online project to connect low-income residents with volunteer attorney assistance. The LiveChat project allows the attorneys and clients to meet virtually for “chat-based” counsel and advice online.
Free of charge to legal aid clients in the LAWO service area who meet income guidelines and have Internet access, the LiveChat project will make brief, but helpful advice on eviction from private housing, assistance with housing conditions, return of a security deposit, debt collection, or car repossession.
“These are issues where LAWO has limited or no resources to help people,” LAWO Executive Director Kevin Mulder said. “With the LiveChat project, LAWO is able to expand its capacity in these areas by using volunteer attorneys to provide brief counsel and advice.”
With only one legal aid attorney for every 10,000 people financially eligible to receive free legal assistance, Mulder said “the unmet legal need is significant.”
The LiveChat project also has many benefits for attorneys by eliminating travel time, providing increased knowledge of technology, and obtaining CLE credit hours for pro bono work.
Those seeking legal assistance may complete an application at www.legalaidline.org or by calling the toll-free number 888.534.1432. Lucas County residents can call 419.724.0460.
Attorneys interested in volunteering for the LiveChat project should contact LAWO Pro Bono Director Melissa LaRocco at 877.894.4599 or 419.390.2479 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAWO is a nonprofit law firm with office locations in Dayton, Defiance, Fremont, Lima, Sandusky, Springfield, and Toledo. Residents must live in one of the following Ohio counties to be eligible for LAWO’s services: Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, or Wyandot.
The LiveChat project is funded by a Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Technology Initiative Grant. LAWO is funded in part by LSC.