Lawton Legal Aid provides assistance around the region
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
- The Lawton Constitution
If you are living on low income and your landlord is starting the process for eviction, where do you go? Lawton Legal Aid Services is able to help with free civil legal aid, said Kade McClure, managing attorney. It also can provide assistance for divorce cases, domestic violence, protective orders, supplemental security income/disability representation, consumer debt problems and foreclosure.
Lawton Legal Aid Services provides assistance to 10 counties in Southwest Oklahoma. The Lawton office, with four attorneys and a paralegal, serves Cotton, Comanche, Grady, Stephens and Caddo counties. Its Altus office, with an attorney and a paralegal, serves Greer, Harmon, Jackson, Kiowa and Tillman counties. There are biweekly satellite offices in Duncan and Chickasha, and Legal Aid Services has a network of lawyers who volunteer their services free of charge.
“In Oklahoma, everyone has a right to legal representation,” McClure said, and that includes the homeless. In fact, Lawton Legal Aid Services participated in the recent Stand Down for Homeless Vets by providing legal civil advice on housing and supplemental security income. As a result, it is representing two homeless veterans. Its staff also was able to work with the Comanche County Bar Association and the New Directions Women’s Shelter to consult with women and their families about their alternatives.
The organization does very little criminal representation, but on occasion it can assist people who want to have their records expunged or deferred.
Legal Aid Services is funded by the Association of South Central Oklahoma Governments, Legal Services Corporation, State Of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Bar Foundation and the United Way of Lawton-Fort Sill; this year the United Way has allocated $12,776.
A new service, available because of a federal grant, will allow Legal Aid to focus on discrimination in housing. The organization also has worked with the Creek Nation’s re-entry program that is meant to help people get back into the workforce, McClure said.
The Lawton Legal Aid Services office is at 323 SW C. For more information, call 248-4675 or 800-250-5950.
Photo taken by Jeff Dixon