The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada’s Mission is to the preservation of access to justice and the provision of quality legal counsel, advice and representation for individuals who are unable to protect their rights because they cannot afford an attorney. How this legal service is provided is through the Pro Bono Project.
The Pro Bono Project coordinates private attorneys who generously volunteer to provide free legal services to individual who cannot afford an attorney. While the attorneys do not charge clients their hourly rates, clients are responsible for any cost in the case that cannot be waived.
Through the Project, pro bono attorneys provide assistance with matters including, but not limited to, real estate, consumer fraud, bankruptcy, and family law, including representation of domestic violence victims and child victims of abuse.
TYPES OF ASSISTANCE THE PRO BONO PROJECT PROVIDES
The Pro Bono Project matches private attorney volunteers with low-income individuals in need of assistance in the following areas:
- Child Abuse/Neglect (Representing Children)
- Domestic Violence
The above list is not exclusive of the areas of assistance. It is also important to note that they DO NOT provide assistance with criminal, employment, personal injury, or traffic matters.
To apply for services, residents of Clark County must meet financial guidelines established the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada.
If an applicant meets the initial requirements, the applicant will be scheduled for an interview with an intake advocate. The applicant will be required to provide proof of all Household income and documents related to the case.
Once all necessary intake information has been provided, the case will be considered by a review committee. The committee will determine whether we will assist the applicant based on a variety of factors, including, but not limited to, merits of the case and availability of volunteers.
If the committee decides to accept the case, the applicant will then be placed on a waiting list while we begin the process of trying to match the case with an available volunteer attorney. This process typically takes between 30 and 90 days.
Once a person is accepted for service, they MUST:
- Keep the Project informed of any changes in contact information;
- Notify the Project immediately of any changes in household income;
- While on the waiting list, inform the Project of any developments in your case and provide us with copies of any documents received from the court or opposing party;
- Be prompt and prepared for all meetings with the volunteer attorney; and
- Be prepared to pay any costs associated with your case (You will not be charged attorney’s fees, but volunteer attorneys are not necessarily agreeing to pay out of their pockets for costs in your case.
For more information, please contact the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada @ 702-386-1070.
By Tanika Capers, Esq.