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Free legal aid available to low income individuals

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jun 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-11 19:31:25-04

In a time when people are facing incredible hardship, a Nebraska pro bono organization called the Volunteer Lawyers Project through the Nebraska Bar Association is giving out free legal aid to low-income individuals.

"Low income people have great difficulty accessing free legal services and really getting equal access to justice," Volunteer Lawyers Project director Laurie Heer Dale said.

The organization has a website for individuals to submit legal questions called Nebraska Free Legal Answers, which during the pandemic has seen an uptick in requests for help.

"I would say our questions have increased, they've doubled," Heer Dale said.

The over 300 lawyers that have volunteered their time for the cause are seeing questions mostly regarding finances, unemployment, family matters and rent payments.

"Can the landlord kick me out? Does the landlord have to work with me? What happened I thought that the governor said the landlord couldn't evict me is that still true? So lots of questions surrounding evictions," Heer Dale said.

The lawyers will answer your questions in five to six business days, start a thread if necessary and may even represent you in court.

"Lawyers sometimes take cases so they will start working with an individual in Free Legal Answers and then want to do more for them, they see there's more of a case," Heer Dale said.

To be eligible for the free legal aid there are some requirements including your household size being at or below 250% of the federal poverty guideline.

"For a household size of one their gross annual income cannot be over $31,225. For a family size of two their gross household income cannot be more than $42,275," Heer Dale said.

COVID-19 Legal Hotline: 1-844-268-5627