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Oklahoma Lawyers Making Equal Justice for all a Reality

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Salutes Volunteer Lawyers

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

  • By: Margaret Hamlett
  • Organization: Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

In Recognition of National Volunteer Week,
Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma Salutes Volunteer Lawyers

OKLAHOMA (April 18, 2011) – In honor of National Volunteer Week 2012, which takes place April 15-21, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma recognizes the thousands of volunteer lawyers who make a huge difference for those in need.


Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma hosts ProBono.Net/OK (www.probono.net/ok), Oklahoma’s online portal for legal professionals interested in pro bono work. As the number of people living in poverty has risen, so has the need for legal services that allow Americans to fully participate in society without falling prey to the loss of their housing, income or even their children. Yet studies have shown that only 20% of the civil legal needs of the poor are being met. Pro bono attorneys are often the only source of hope for those who can’t afford to hire a lawyer.

ProBono.Net/OK is part of a national network of state portals created by Pro Bono Net, a leader in innovative programs that increase access to justice. Pro Bono Net has more than 90,000 members - including over 1,400 members in Oklahoma - who are committed to public service. National Volunteer Week 2012 provides an opportunity to recognize them for their efforts.

Volunteer lawyers and law students from Oklahoma City University School of Law use the web site’s automated documents online to develop court forms at the Pro Se Waiver Docket in County. Judges refer self-represented litigants needing assistance with court forms trainings to Legal Aid’s on-site clinic in partnership with the Oklahoma County Law Library, Oklahoma Child Support Services. Other materials, court forms and other resources are available online for the volunteers.

Cindy Goble, Statewide Volunteer Coordinator for Legal Aid, says “volunteers have been eager to help with cases, now that they can access online trainings and court forms through www.probono.net/ok. With the web site, we make it more efficient for volunteers to take cases and now they can choose the case they want to accept online! “

ProBono.Net/OK’s online platform, at www.probono.net/OK, makes it easy for attorneys to get involved in pro bono work, saving them time and connecting them with opportunities, training events, mentors, and libraries of practice resources they won’t find anywhere else. Legal Aid also developed and maintains OKLaw.org, a public legal information portal with state-based legal referrals, know-your-rights information and a variety of self-help tools. Pro Bono Net works in partnership with more than 200 legal services organizations around the country, including Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma.

Sponsored by Points of Light—National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown exponentially each subsequent year, with literally thousands of volunteer projects and special events scheduled throughout the week. With the third year anniversary of the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, the creation of the Volunteer Generation Fund and the resonant call to serve from the President, this year will be even more energizing and inspiring.

Legal professionals wishing to get involved can join Pro Bono Net by signing up at www.probono.net, nationally or www.probono.net/ok in Oklahoma. Attorneys can also search for volunteer opportunities at www.probono.net/volunteer.

More information on National Volunteer Week 2012 can be found at www.handsonnetwork.org.

Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma is a not-for-profit law firm which provides free civil legal assistance to eligible low-income individuals and their families and to elderly persons in the areas of family, consumer, housing, health and employment. Legal Aid attorneys and staff work through a network of fully-staffed law offices and satellite offices, serving eligible clients in all 77 counties of Oklahoma. The statewide toll-free number to call for legal assistance is 888-534-5243.

Funding for Legal Aid is from the Legal Services Corporation, the State of Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Bar Foundation, 14 United Way or United Fund organizations and generous attorneys, law firms, foundations, businesses and individuals throughout the state contributing to the Campaign for Justice.

For information on contributing to Legal Aid’s Campaign for Justice, call Gayla Machell, 405-488-6753.
 

About Pro Bono Net
Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing access to justice through innovative uses of technology and increased volunteer lawyer participation. Pro Bono Net uses innovative web-based platforms—www.probono.net, www.lawhelp.org  and www.lawhelpinteractive.org  —to recruit and support volunteer lawyers and provide direct information and tools for self representation to low-income communities. For more information, please visit www.probono.net.

 

 

 

Contact: Margaret Hamlett
Phone: 918-295-9439
E-mail: margaret.hamlett@laok.org

 

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