Volume 9 May 2020
Pursuing Justice, Changing Lives
In this issue: Tenant Advocacy Project Training 5/19/20, Remote Service Opportunities during COVID-19


As eviction hearings resume in courts throughout our service area, LASC and SEOLS are launching additional pro bono programming to meet the anticipated high volume of cases involving low-income tenants.
Although temporarily on hold, LASC currently offers a daily eviction defense clinic, the Tenant Advocacy Project , which engages Columbus lawyers in representing Franklin County tenants, and we anticipate a need for more volunteers for this important program. In response to COVID-19, we plan to replicate this programming in other counties. We are also exploring ways in which attorneys can provide virtual representation.

Do you want to be a part of this important program to ensure access to justice in your communities during this critical time?
No litigation experience or prior knowledge of landlord-tenant law is required, and LASC/SEOLS mentors will be available for all pro bono clinics. The first step is a webinar that we are offering on Tuesday, May 19 th from 12-2:00 PM. You can register HERE.
We have requested two hours of general CLE for this live webinar training, which is free to all who commit to participate in our landlord-tenant pro bono programming in 2020. Because of volume, Franklin County procedures will be addressed during this training, and for those who agree to help us outside Franklin County, you will receive shorter “add-on” trainings that contain specifics on local court procedures. You will receive information on clinic registration after the training.
Please direct any questions to Dianna Parker .

Virtual Clinics & Remote Service Opportunities
To ensure low-income people can still access legal help and advice during the COVID-19 crisis, LASC and SEOLS have created a new “Virtual Clinic” model, which engages our volunteer lawyers in phone advice clinics and remote services.

Our program is focusing on four key areas:
  • General Legal Advice - particular needs for family law and landlord-tenant
  • Unemployment Compensation Applications
  • Small Business and Nonprofit Assistance
  • “Clean Slate” Services (record-sealing applications and Certificates of Qualification for Employment)
To sign up to volunteer, please use this form.
Expectations & Flexible Time Commitment
On the online interest form , volunteers can specify when they are available to help, what areas of law they feel comfortable handling, and whether they need additional training. For Unemployment Programming, non-attorney volunteers are welcome.
Depending on the level of client need, most client services will take less than two hours, and volunteers can note whether they wish to provide help during or after business hours. Volunteers can handle as many clinics or clients as they wish and will always have the option of rejecting a referral at the time of request.

Training & Resources Available

We have online recorded trainings available and will provide this information at the time the volunteer registers. We are also compiling all relevant court orders and policy changes that volunteers may need to be aware of prior to speaking to the clients.
LASC/SEOLS is primarily relying on the expertise of our private bar partners in the areas of nonprofit and small business assistance, but stay tuned for more details on a CLE we are planning for the summer that will focus on representing nonprofits!
Process: How Remote Service Works
For Brief Advice Virtual Clinics and Unemployment Clinics Clients are scheduled for clinic slots that align with volunteer availability and are told that they should expect a call during that window of time and that the call might be restricted or blocked (if volunteers are calling from cell phones).
For Reentry and Small Businesses – LASC/SEOLS will match attorneys 1:1 with clients and meeting times can be flexible.
Prior to the clinic time or when a client identifies a specific need, LASC/SEOLS Pro Bono Team staff will match clients with volunteers via a virtual referral email, which will include the client’s intake and contact information, contact information for our staff attorney mentor who is “on call” for the clinic, and a link to a case reporting form that we will ask the volunteer to complete after the consultation.
Pro Bono Program Overview
LASC/SEOLS supplies primary malpractice coverage for all volunteers, training resources, and access to attorney mentors. You can accrue one hour of general CLE for every six hours you volunteer, up to a total of six CLE hours per reporting period. Emeritus and Corporate Status also are eligible and encouraged to volunteer.
Please direct any questions about our Virtual Clinics to Dianna Parker at dparker@oslsa.org.

LASC and SEOLS Still Hard at Work during COVID-19 Crisis

LASC and SEOLS attorneys staffed a three-hour Resource Hotline on Thursday evening for individuals seeking help with unemployment compensation and housing questions.