Legal Aid of Western Ohio (LAWO) has launched a new interactive chat service that connects eligible low-income clients with volunteer attorneys in an online platform, according to Court News Ohio. Residents of the northwest and west central counties served by LAWO who are otherwise eligible for legal services can now chat with attorneys online to receive brief advice and counsel about their particular civil legal problems at no cost. Court News Ohio reports that the legal issues covered by the LiveChat service currently include "eviction from private housing, assistance with housing conditions, return of a security deposit, debt collection, or car repossession."
In order to use the LiveChat services an individual must reside in one of the 32 county area covered by LAWO, meet income guidelines, and have access to a computer with internet access. Potential users must fill out an application at www.legalaidline.org or by calling 888.534.1432 before accessing the service.
According to the article, the new program will help ameliorate some of the need for legal services in Ohio by connecting people to volunteer attorneys for brief advice and counsel. It will also provide volunteer opportunities for attorneys interested in pro bono work.
Attorneys who would like to provide volunteer hours on the LiveChat service should contact LAWO Pro Bono Director, Melissa LaRocco at 877.894.4599 or 419.390.2479 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
LAWO serves residents of Allen, Ashland, Auglaize, Champaign, Clark, Crawford, Darke, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Greene, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Huron, Logan, Lucas, Mercer, Miami, Montgomery, Ottawa, Paulding, Preble, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Shelby, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot counties.