Areas of Practice

The Volunteer Lawyers Project offers a variety of pro bono opportunities for Volunteer Attorneys, no matter how much or how little time you have available.  We welcome your participation, and will tailor referrals to fit your interests and needs.  You can accept individual cases or participate in one of our Clinics.  For more information about what it means to become participate in the Volunteer Lawyers Project, see our Support and Expectations for Volunteer Attorneys” page.
To volunteer, please click here.

Current Areas of Practice Include:

¨ Family Law Clinic                                                ¨ Juvenile Court Custody
¨ Domestic Relations                                             ¨ Divorce Clinics
¨ Adoptions

Family Law Clinic

The Family Law Clinic was introduced in 2016 by the VLP, Legal Aid, Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court, and Hamilton County Law Library. The purpose of this new Clinic is to provide limited legal advice, information and guidance for those who cannot afford legal representation but have decided to file their case in Domestic Relations Court on their own.

The clinic is open Tuesdays from 9am-1pm and Thursdays from 11am-3pm. It is located in Room 2-68 of the Hamilton County Domestic Relations Court, 800 Broadway, in Cincinnati.

The demand for the Clinic’s services is high so we would welcome additional volunteer lawyers. If you would like to volunteer please contact Anne Lucas at alucas@lascinti.org.

Domestic Relations/Juvenile Court

There is a large need for attorneys to represent clients with Divorce, Property and Custody issues. Volunteer Attorneys designate the types of Family Law referrals they wish to receive.

Family Law attorneys who accept more than two pro bono cases in a given year are eligible to receive referrals of Reduced-Fee cases. A Divorce Clinic counts as two pro bono cases for reduced-fee eligibility.

Divorce Clinics

Through a Divorce Clinic, Volunteer Attorneys in Hamilton, Butler, Clermont, Brown, Clinton,  and Warren Counties represent clients with no minor children and/or property issues to obtain a simple divorce. A group of clients are consolidated on the Court’s docket so as to make optimum use of the Attorney and Court time.  Legal Aid paralegals prepare and file the paperwork. Through this model, Volunteer Attorneys are able to help a large number of clients in a relatively short period of time, and the judges are very grateful for the assistance provided.

Adoption

Volunteer attorneys can accept referrals to help families with uncontested adoptions, most often involving grandparent/step-parent adoptions. By accepting an adoption referral, a Volunteer Attorney helps stabilize a child’s life which often results in greater financial stability for the child.

¨ Homeowner/Foreclosure                                    ¨ Landlord Tenant/Eviction

Homeowner/Foreclosure Cases

Volunteer attorneys help individuals and families facing foreclosure save their homes. Legal Aid’s intake process identifies for assistance, those clients who live in single-family homes and who have the financial means to support a mortgage. Most cases are resolved through negotiation and/or mediation. The Courts in Hamilton and Clermont Counties have Limited Representation mediation programs available.

Eviction/Landlord Tenant Cases

Volunteer Attorneys represent clients threatened with eviction, and with issues related to security deposits, back rent, living condition and damage claims. Legal Aid’s intake process identifies callers and the nature of their problem and, if appropriate, checks on whether the caller has the rent money if that is key to the case’s positive outcome. This is a good opportunity for attorneys to get Courtroom experience.

Volunteer attorneys are needed to assist with a variety of Immigration matters. Legal Aid and the VLP have established a priority for assisting individuals in need of humanitarian remedies. This includes U-Visa, T-Visa, Cancellation of Removal, and SIJS cases. We also look to place cases involving Adjustment of Status, Naturalization, and other compelling issues such as visas for medical reasons, Asylum, etc.

VLP attorneys can accept referrals to assist clients with a variety of consumer issues. They can include: bankruptcy, exempt income garnishment, auto repossession, auto warranty claims, home contractor disputes, medical debt and insurance company subrogation claims (for auto accidents). Occasionally there is a need to refer tort disputes to a Volunteer Attorney.

Volunteer attorneys assist clients with obtaining an Expungement of criminal convictions. These cases come to Legal Aid as part of its Clearing Legal Hurdles to Employment project, which helps individuals eliminate barriers to employment and retain jobs. An old conviction is often the one thing standing between a person and a job. The Legal Aid and VLP intake process screens the applicants so only those clients determined to be eligible for expungements are referred to volunteer attorneys.

Sometimes employers do not pay their employees all they are due for work performed. Volunteer attorneys can accept referrals to recover this money for clients. These matters often are concluded through negotiation, but claims sometimes can be brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act. If litigation becomes necessary, the attorney is free to seek statutory fees from the Employer.

Volunteer attorneys can receive referrals of clients who have been determined to have a viable claim for Unemployment Compensation benefits, once the matter has reached the hearing stage. All hearings are conducted by telephone and a case can be completed in a relatively short period of time.

Applicants who contact Legal Aid seeking new Social Security benefits are referred to private attorneys for representation on a contingent fee basis. However, Volunteer attorneys can assist clients who need to re-establish benefits that have been terminated. Volunteer attorneys who practice in this area of law and who accept two pro bono referrals per year, are eligible to receive referrals of clients seeking new benefits.

Volunteer attorneys can accept cases to represent children facing expulsion and work with families to help children stay in school.

Volunteer attorneys can assist clients in the preparation of Wills and other important life planning documents, either through the Wills Clinics or individual representation. Volunteer Attorneys may also accept referrals of individual clients who need assistance with administration of estate matters in Probate Court, or with uncontested Guardianship applications.

The VLP partners with students from Northern Kentucky Chase College of Law and Volunteer attorneys to help clients prepare Wills, Living Wills, Health Care Powers of Attorney, and other essential life planning documents through periodic Wills Clinics. Law students and Legal Aid paralegals/legal assistants assist by interviewing client participants and preparing documents.

Volunteer attorneys can accept referrals to help individuals with real estate matters, often involving the transfer of title to property.

VLP attorneys can a accept referrals of clients who need legal assistance to obtain medical and other insurance benefits, usually through advice and negotiation. If the matter reaches a point at which litigation is needed, the case can be transferred to private lawyer with the potential award of attorney fees.

2015 Annual Report

2015 Annual Report

Volunteer Lawyers For the Poor Foundation 2015 Annual Report

WHY I VOLUNTEER

Our volunteers tell us what a rich and rewarding experience VLP has been for them. We want to share those stories with you. Click to see their stories and their results.

Anonymous

“I would say that this service is wonderful. I’ll always appreciate it”. David E. (Attorney obtained expungement so that he...
2013-12-05T19:26:27+00:00
“I would say that this service is wonderful. I’ll always appreciate it”. David E. (Attorney obtained expungement so that he could get a job)

Robin B.

“I always heard of good like this, but experiencing this good is a blessing”. Robin B. (home saved from foreclosure,...
2013-12-05T19:27:02+00:00
“I always heard of good like this, but experiencing this good is a blessing”. Robin B. (home saved from foreclosure, Attorney Daniel Temming

Angela R.

“This service was a great help for my daughter who is handicapped. We really appreciated the help we got”. Angela...
2013-12-05T19:27:35+00:00
“This service was a great help for my daughter who is handicapped. We really appreciated the help we got”. Angela R. (Attorney Paul Balash assisted disabled adult with landlord tenant dispute

Hazel F.

“He was kind, professional, and informative; I was treated like a Kennedy or Bush family member. Now that’s saying a...
2013-12-05T19:28:07+00:00
“He was kind, professional, and informative; I was treated like a Kennedy or Bush family member. Now that’s saying a lot”. Hazel F. (Attorney Charles Arkin assisted client with Will and other advanced planning documents)

Doris S.

“Your organization does a great job and I am very humbled to have you as my lawyer. Doris S. (Attorney...
2013-12-05T19:28:37+00:00
“Your organization does a great job and I am very humbled to have you as my lawyer. Doris S. (Attorney Thomas Gruber assisted disabled client with a credit card debt issue
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