Just An Hour or Two a Month Can Make All The Difference
In Connecticut, 12% of the population lives below 125% of poverty and can not afford a lawyer. The lack of access to justice affects how these people can achieve fair outcomes in matters that are of critical importance to the way they live—issues such as divorce, child custody, Social Security denials and consumer law problems. The most vulnerable are the elderly, children, and the disabled. To complicate matters further, our staff keeps shrinking, resulting in our inability to help more and more low income clients. Do you have just one or two hours a month to help these people?
Pro bono made easy is one of the goals of Statewide Legal Services’ (SLS) exciting Call4Law program. The Call 4Law program is a venture of Statewide Legal Services and attorneys across the state who will volunteer to address the legal needs of poor people in Connecticut.
The program is quite simple. Once or twice a month, volunteer attorneys call a pre-screened legal aid client to interview and advise them. The volunteer attorneys can make the call from the comfort of their own office – or anywhere convenient. The calls typically last an hour or less. Each volunteer gets to choose the types of cases they would like to have referred to them, the frequency of calls they wish to make each month, and each volunteer has the right to refuse any referral. Legal aid handles the administrative details of the program and provides malpractice insurance on every referred client. You will be given pro bono credit from the CBA for the service you provide.
If you don’t feel qualified to advise people on the requested areas of law, don’t worry: SLS will provide the training and resources that you will need. If you don’t know the answer to a client’s question, just tell the client you will call them back and call us to discuss the appropriate advice. In no time you will become an expert on that subject.
Statewide Legal Services has set the ambitious goal of 100 volunteers this year handling one or two calls a month. This would allow our legal aid hotline to almost double the number of clients we can serve each year.