Portland Regional Office-Legal Aid Services of Oregon

Serving Clackamas, Hood River, Multnomah, Sherman and Wasco Counties

Housing Notice Clinic:  Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon was in the midst of a housing crisis due to a shortage of affordable housing. In eviction cases the vast majority of landlords were represented by an attorney or agent while very few tenants have any representation. While legal aid represents thousands of tenants a year, demand for assistance exceeds our limited resources. With the expiration of the statewide moratorium quickly approaching demand for housing legal assistance is expected to drastically increase. Your help is needed to preserve stable housing for members of our community. Through the clinic, Oregon pro bono attorneys provide critical legal assistance to low-income tenants. Attorneys review rental termination notices, advise tenants on the validity of the notice and notice defenses, draft demand letters and negotiate settlements. Trainings and materials are available. This is a virtual volunteer opportunity. For more information or to volunteer, please contact Jill Mallery at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail jill.mallery@lasoregon.org.

Unemployment Insurance Benefits Panel. As unemployment claims continue to hit unprecedented levels, LASO is working to expand its pro bono attorney panel for low-income Oregonians with controversies involving unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Unemployment insurance is the sole means of temporary wage replacement for workers and it is critical in preventing individuals and families from spiraling into poverty. This project connects UI claimants with volunteer attorneys to provide legal advice and possible representation at administrative hearings before the Oregon Office of Administrative Hearings. Training materials are available. This is a virtual volunteer opportunity. For more information contact Brett Cattani at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail brett.cattani@lasoregon.org.

Bankruptcy Clinic.  The Oregon State Bar Debtor-Creditor Section and LASO sponsor this project. The project consists of two components, a bankruptcy class and a legal clinic during which volunteer attorneys each meet with two clients for 30-minute appointments.  Anyone may attend the 45-minute class, taught by a member of the bankruptcy bar or bench.  Volunteer attorneys meet with clients, help them assess whether bankruptcy is appropriate, and if so, provide ongoing representation.  The monthly clinic is held from 6:15-9:00 p.m. and alternates between sites in Beaverton, east Portland and downtown Portland.  12-15 attorneys, one mentor and one speaker are typically scheduled for each clinic. For more information contact Jill Mallery at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail jill.mallery@lasoregon.org.

The Expungement Clinic.  The Expungement Clinic is a partnership between the Clackamas County Bar Association, Clackamas County Law Library, LASO, and the Clackamas Service Center.  The clinic assists low-income clients in Multnomah and Clackamas Counties.  Due to the pandemic, this clinic is now virtual/via phone.  Volunteer attorneys review the criminal record and analyze eligibility.  If the client qualifies for expungement, the attorney fills out the forms and provides information on next steps to the client.  Attorneys do NOT represent the client in court.  For more information contact Tiffanny Smith at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail tiffanny.smith@lasoregon.org.

Family Law Forms Project.   Volunteer family law attorneys provide limited assistance to pro se clients - filling out forms, answering discrete family law legal advice, reviewing documents for accuracy and completeness, and providing next steps to file.  Attorneys are NOT expected to provide ongoing representation to clients and clients sign a retainer agreement detailing the limited scope of the attorney-client relationship.  Volunteer attorneys must have family law experience to volunteer for this project. For more information contact Tiffanny Smith at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail tiffanny.smith@lasoregon.org.

Senior Law Project.  The Senior Law Project consists of 20+ monthly legal clinics held at 8 senior center locations in Multnomah County.  Volunteer lawyers meet with clients who are 60 or over (or who are married to someone 60 or over).  The lawyers provide 30-minute consultations, on any civil legal issues, for up to six clients per clinic.  All clients 60 or over are eligible for a free 30-minute consultation, regardless of their income.  SLP volunteers provide continuing pro bono services for only those clients who meet LASO’s financial eligibility requirements.  LASO coordinates a monthly Elder Law Discussion Group to provide information and support. contact Tiffanny Smith at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail tiffanny.smith@lasoregon.org.

Domestic Violence Project.   The Domestic Violence Project (DVP) matches pro bono attorneys with survivors of domestic violence for representation in contested restraining order hearings. These cases tend to have short timelines, involve limited issues and require a court appearance.  Attorneys sign up in advance to be available to take a case on a specific date (restraining order hearings are generally scheduled on Mondays and Thursdays). The project provides representation to clients in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Counties. DVP is an excellent volunteer opportunity for new lawyers, lawyers seeking litigation experience, and attorneys who cannot commit to taking long-term cases.  This project covers a discrete area of law and most of the volunteers are not family law practitioners. DVP volunteers are not expected to assist clients with family law issues. For more information contact Brett Cattani at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail brett.cattani@lasoregon.org.

Legal Aid Night Clinic.  Attorneys from Stoel Rives, LLP and Dunn Carney LLP exclusively staff the Night Clinic in a partnership with LASO. The attorneys screen the cases and provide legal representation to clients. The clinics are currently being held remotely. The following issues are referred: consumer law, small claims advice, landlord/tenant damage claims, estate planning, and uncontested guardianships. For more information contact Brett Cattani at (503) 224-4086 or e-mail brett.cattani@lasoregon.org.

Statewide Volunteer Opportunities:

ProBonoOregon Listserv:  If you don't see a case or a project that interests you on ProBonoOregon web pages, legal services offices around the state also post pro bono cases to the ProBonoOregon listserv each week. An attorney who is interested in accepting a pro bono opportunity contacts the listing office for full case information. This project allows pro bono attorneys to take a pro bono case when it fits best with their schedule.  You must sign-up for the Oregon Advocates website to join the listserv.  If not a member, click here.  Once signed up as a member, suscribe as a listserv user here

NAPOLS Project: The 2018 Barriers to Justice noted that Native Americans are 1.9 times more likely to experience an elder law or disability-related issue, such as homelessness. In 14 of the 17 categories surveyed, Native Americans experience problems at higher rates than non-Native people. Native American Program Legal Aid Services (NAPOLS) represents Native clients in tribal, state, and federal courts, as well as in administrative proceedings, on issues specific to an individual’s Native status. Pro bono attorneys provide assistance to Native clients around the state on a diverse range of matters, including consumer law and fair debt collection issues, family law, landlord/tenant, public benefits, elder law, and estate planning for clients with assets involving federal or tribal jurisdiction. Please contact Fabio Apolito at  Fabio.Apolito@lasoregon.org

ProBonoOregon - A new way to volunteer! ProBonoOregon displays pro bono opportunities referred by legal aid on one easy-to-use web site. No passwords or pre-registration are required to use the site! Just click on the “Interested” link on any case or project described on the site, and legal aid will respond within two business days. ProBonoOregon allows volunteer attorneys to search, share and offer to help with available pro bono cases and projects from around the state. Cases and projects also can be searched based on geography, subject matter or other key factors. Click here to become part of making access to justice a reality for low-income Oregonians!

Statewide Tax ClinicThe Statewide Low Income Taxpayer Clinic provides advice and representation to low income clients who have a tax controversy with the IRS and related cases with the Oregon Department of Revenue.  Cases cover a range of state and federal personal income tax issues. Volunteer opportunities are also available for recent graduates and new members of the Bar. For more information, contact Guillermo Ramos at guillermo.ramos@lasoregon.org.