Cleveland Schools Offer Walk-In Legal Clinics To Students' Families
Families who need legal help can head to school with their kids, if those kids attend Cleveland public schools. The district is offering free, walk-in clinics starting this Thursday and continuing weekly through May.
The project is a partnership between the district, the Cleveland Legal Aid Society and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. Bar Association executive director Rebecca McMahon said the service is a first in the region, and one of the few in the nation.
“Across the country, there are not many, as relates to this specific advice clinic. But there are some good examples in New York is one that we have been using to guide us in shaping the program,” she said.
Volunteer lawyers will offer advice on topics like immigration, family-law and landlord-tenant disputes. But Bar Association President Richard Manoloff expects questions won't be limited to those topics. He says organizers think the clinics will reveal the types of legal situations that cause problems like students frequently transferring schools or missing classes.
“We expect certain kinds of issues to come up during these conversations, but frankly that one of the reason why we are running a pilot first,” Manoloff said.
Clients will be eligible for help based on income. After the pilot finishes, organizers will decide whether to offer it next school year.