Legal Aid Society of Orange County

Private Attorney Involvement

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Legal Services Corporation funding regulations require that twelve and one-half percent (12.5%) of LASOC’s basic field grant is dedicated to involving attorneys of the private bar in providing legal services to eligible clients.

Each of the PAI projects is supervised by attorneys at LASOC, whom work closely with private attorneys by providing technical, strategic and informational assistance.The Private Attorney Involvement (PAI) requirement is met in the following capacities:

Pro Bono Services

Public Law Center (PLC), formerly Amicus Publico

In 1981, LASOC created Amicus Publico, which later became the Public Law Center (PLC). Ultimately, leaders of the private bar incorporated Amicus Publico as the Bar’s own program to organize its pro bono work. Bound by an agreement with PLC, LASOC refers cases to Public Law Center after an initial legal evaluation has been given. The agreement allows LASOC to refer up to 30 cases to PLC per month, in subject areas where PLC may be able to better assist the applicant.

Emeritus Attorneys

LASOC’s Senior Citizens Legal Advocacy Program (SCLAP) is funded by the Federal Title III-B program to provide legal services to senior citizens that reside in Orange County. Several Emeritus Attorneys volunteer their time to SCLAP on a regular basis. During 2006, ten Emeritus Attorneys volunteered their time and contributed over 2630 hours assisting seniors with their legal problems.

Hotline Contract Attorneys

The Intake Hotline is the gateway to all of LASOC’s services. Experienced full-time paralegals, part-time paralegals, law students and undergraduate students conduct telephone interviews under the supervision of an attorney. In addition, for more than a decade, LASOC has been contracting with several reduced-fee private attorneys to supplement staff attorney time in assisting with the supervision of the Hotline.

Clinic Contract Attorneys

Of LASOC’s many clinics and workshops, LASOC has collaborated with private attorneys for the Orange County and Southeast Los Angeles County bankruptcy clinics and the Justice in Education Workshop.

At the bankruptcy clinics, clients are guided through the bankruptcy process, given specific legal advice by a PAI attorney, and can have their Chapter 7 bankruptcy petition reviewed.

Justice in Education is a non-profit organization to providing services to families with children who have special education needs.  The monthly JIE Workshop is held at LASOC’s Santa Ana location.  It is open to both the public and LASOC clients referred by our Hotline and staff.  At the Justice in Education Workshop, parents receive information regarding their rights and responsibilities under The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). To the extent that parents and children require advocacy and legal representation in the area of School Procedure and Special Education Law, LASOCs non-profit partner is able to provide such service.

Judicare Program

In 2006, LASOC added the Judicare program to its PAI effort. The program compensates private attorneys based on a specific fee schedule to provide legal services to indigent residents of southeast Los Angeles County. The program includes a panel of private attorneys who practice in southeast Los Angeles County and are given referrals on a rotating basis. The types of cases that are referred to the Judicare Attorney Panel include family law and landlord/tenant matters. The unbundled services will include: OSCs including preparation, and filing of pleadings; representation at an OSC hearing; representation for a Temporary Restraining Order hearing; representation at an Unlawful Detainer trial; preparation and filing of an Unlawful Detainer answer and other documents.

Compton Self-Help Legal Access Center

Since 2006, LASOC has been contracting with private attorneys to supplement staff attorney time at the Compton Self-Help Legal Access Center, which is operated by Community Legal Services. CSHLAC is supervised by the Directing Attorney of the Compton office and staffed by paralegals. It provides legal information to self-represented litigants and schedules individuals to attend workshops regarding eviction matters, family law and small claims.

CSHLAC also provides self-help materials with information on divorce, paternity, name change, guardianship, child visitation, response to divorce, response to paternity, eviction and Small Claims. In addition, pro per litigants are routed to do-it-yourself divorce, small claims and eviction defense workshops.

To become involved in our PAI effort, call Jennifer Miramontes at 714-571-5220.