Pro Bono News
Ohio Legal Help Launches to the Public (OH)
Friday, September 20, 2019
- Loveland Magazine
Ohio Legal Help Launches to the Public
"Columbus, Ohio – Ohio Legal Help, a website created to help all Ohioans access the civil justice system by providing free information on common legal issues, details about court and other legal forms and referrals to legal aid and bar association referral programs, formally launched on Aug. 27.
Ohio Legal Help provides plain language legal information, interactive self-help tools, and connections to local legal and community resources to help Ohioans resolve their legal issues. All content is reviewed by lawyers, to ensure the website is easy to understand, action-oriented and accurate.
“The Supreme Court’s Task Force on Access to Justice recommended in 2015 that Ohio develop a statewide website that provides free and accurate legal information and standardized forms,” said Supreme Court of Ohio Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. “Ohio Legal Help is that website and will increase access to justice for all Ohioans.”
“Following from the recommendation of the Supreme Court’s Task Force on Access to Justice, a steering committee of judges, private lawyers, legal aid lawyers, librarians, clerks of court and domestic violence advocates representing various Ohio stakeholder organizations was convened to develop a website for Ohioans who needed legal information,” said David Kutik, Ohio Legal Help board president. “This comprehensive process, which resulted in the creation of the Ohio Legal Help website, has ensured that Ohio Legal Help will meet the diverse needs of potential users.”
To lay the groundwork for Ohio Legal Help, the steering committee commissioned a survey of potential users. Eight hundred Ohioans responded to the survey. Half of the respondents made less than $30,000 per year. The survey showed that costs and confusion of dealing with legal issues were most frequently cited as barriers to accessing the legal system. Sixty-one percent of survey respondents believed that they needed more legal education and 68 percent strongly supported a legal access portal website..."