What’s a Legal Aid Clinic?
A ministry that works with Christian churches and faith-based social service programs to provide free legal advice and limited legal assistance to the poor and needy. “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” Proverbs 31:8-9
What does it look like?
- Some have 1-hour legal advice appointments once a week
- Some provide continuing representation opportunities
- Some use a room on-site at rescue missions, churches, shelters
- Some have office space to which clients can come
- Some are totally staffed by volunteers
- Some have paid staff plus a corps of volunteers Some have clinics for clients on financial topics, foreclosure, custody, immigration, conflict resolution, housing, etc.
Got the picture? They can look very different in various locations around the country – you can find a style and structure that fits your location and the needs of the poor in your area.
- Local CLS chapters – help with funding, organizing and training of local attorney volunteers, assisting with resources and recruiting of volunteers
- Local CLS members -- a main resource of volunteer attorneys
- Rescue missions, churches, shelters who could benefit -- provide space, handle sign-ups
- Assistance from national CLS committee which networks with legal aid clinics across the country and orchestrates sharing of training, materials and information