Only lawyers have the special skills and knowledge needed to secure access to justice for low-income people, whose enormous unmet legal needs are well documented.
-- ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct.
Kentucky Legal Aid’s Lawyers Care Volunteer Attorney Program (Lawyers Care) coordinates and manages the volunteer efforts of private attorneys, law students, law graduates, or other professionals to address the legal needs of the agency’s clients.
What qualifications do I need to get involved?
All attorneys participating in Lawyers Care must be members in good standing of the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA). All volunteers are required to provide their KBA identification number and the date they became licensed. Active status with the KBA is a prerequisite to serving as a volunteer attorney.
Where can I get involved?
KLA coordinates pro bono services throughout its 35-county service area. Pro Bono attorneys can designate the geographic region they would like to volunteer in. Attorneys are able to provide counsel and advice to clients remotely.
What impact will I have if I get involved?
- Decrease child poverty by increasing self-sufficiency of low-income families
- Reduce domestic violence
- Improve health care of impoverished children and other individuals
- Protect low-income families and elderly individuals who have been victimized by fraud, financial abuse, or economic factors
- Improve the quality of life of impoverished elderly and disabled individuals
- Improve the quality and stability of housing for low-income families
What kinds of cases can I get involved with?
Cases are placed with pro bono attorneys based upon their self-identified areas of expertise. Some examples of the types of issues that clients requests services for include, but are not limited to:
- Health and Public Benefits
- Victims’ Rights
- Divorce, Custody & Family
- Money & Debts
- Elder Law
- Work and School
How can I get involved?
Lawyers Care offers the following opportunities for pro bono attorneys to get involved:
- Clinics – Lawyers Care hosts legal clinics throughout its service area on topics such as family law, veterans’ issues, consumer credit and bankruptcy, and elder law. Volunteer attorneys provide counsel and advice to clients in a confidential one-on-one consultation. Clinic opportunities may be viewed on the LINK portal below.
- Representation – Direct case referral to program volunteers is a significant component of the Lawyers Care Program. Pro Bono attorneys agree to provide complete representation for clients, including document preparation, settlement negotiations and litigation.
- Legal Information Network for Kentucky (LINK):
To participate, please register and log-in to the LINK portal by clicking above.
KLA’s nationally recognized centralized intake system is an efficient and effective means of delivering immediate and impactful legal counsel and advice to rurally isolated and impoverished clients through the agency’s service area. Lawyers Care has developed an online portal (LINK) for attorneys to quickly accept counsel and advice cases and provide services from the comfort of their offices.
LINK enlists volunteer attorneys to provide telephone interviews with legal aid clients in need. Calls are made from the comfort of the attorneys’ office. Volunteers choose the number of referrals they receive, and the types of cases that will be referred to them from the online portal. Clients are prescreened for eligibility by KLA’s Intake Department.
What are the costs and benefits if I get involved?
Pro Bono attorneys agree to volunteer their time. KLA provides secondary malpractice insurance to volunteer attorneys for cases accepted through the Lawyers Care Program. Volunteers are reimbursed for reasonable out-of-pocket expenses when requested. Technical assistance is offered to pro bono attorneys on poverty issues through staff attorney mentoring, referral to state and national support centers, and provision of sample forms directly related to indigent client representation.
The mission of the Lawyers Care Volunteer Attorney Program (LCVAP) is to assist qualified persons of limited means obtain high-quality legal assistance by utilizing volunteers to resolve clients’ civil legal problems, improve laws and practices affecting clients, educate clients and volunteers about legal issues affecting low-income individuals, and increase client self-sufficiency.