The Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC was established by its parent organization, the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, in April 2007. The Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC provides a full range of civil legal services to low-income residents of seven counties in southwest Ohio – Brown, Butler, Clermont, Clinton, Hamilton, Highland, and Warren. The services are coordinated with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and the Volunteer Lawyers Project.
The staff of the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC includes attorneys and paralegals who work in four practice groups: Housing and Consumer, Family and Immigration, Income, Work, and Health, and Children’s Law. The Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC has offices in Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Wilmington. It receives no funding from the Legal Services Corporation.
Legal Aid Line
The Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati operates Legal Aid Line, which is the primary access for both Legal Aid Societies and the Volunteer Lawyers Project. Applicants may call (513) 241-9400 or (800) 582-2682 to request legal assistance.
About 30,000 individuals contact the Legal Aid Line each year. Through the joint efforts of the two Legal Aid Societies and the Volunteer Lawyers Project, over 6,000 clients obtain advice and representation. The Legal Aid Line also provides referrals and written information.
The Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC work together on programs that focus resources on resolving critical issues for clients, while also strategically addressing broad community concerns.
This medical-legal partnership with Cincinnati Children’s Hospital promotes children’s health and well-being by resolving legal problems affecting the entire family. Legal assistance results in improved housing conditions, special education services, much-needed income, and medical benefits, or resolution of other problems that interfere with good health outcomes.
Clearing Legal Hurdles to Employment
Legal assistance helps low-income job seekers overcome barriers to obtaining and retaining employment. Job training programs refer men and women to Legal Aid when they are having difficulty getting hired, or keeping their job, for reasons as diverse as loss of a driver’s license, threatened eviction, needing expungement of a limited criminal record, or getting a child back in school.
Covering Kids and Families
Legal Aid advocates for streamlined policies so that needy families get healthcare benefits provided by Ohio’s Healthy Start medical program. Through targeted outreach, Legal Aid helps homeless children, children living in rural areas, and Hispanic families establish eligibility and prevent benefit termination.
Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC)
Legal Aid manages the Hamilton, Clermont, and Butler County tax preparation sites for the United Way’s Regional EITC Collaborative. We organize training for volunteers who prepare returns at no charge. Tax refunds provide additional income for working families, and return over $18 million to the regional economy.
Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
Legal Aid serves as the attorney and GAL for children in Butler County who have been removed from their parent’s custody due to neglect or abuse. Legal Aid works to secure a safe and permanent home for each child, while advocating for the child’s best interests, including health and educational needs.
LawLink: Family Stability and Safety
This program provides comprehensive legal services to women struggling to recover from domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking. Legal services include restraining orders, child support, custody, divorce, visitation restrictions, visa adjustments, and division of debts and property. By breaking legal and financial ties with the abuser, clients move toward economic self-sufficiency, and can provide a safe home for themselves and their children.
Stabilizing Neighborhoods through Secure Housing
Legal Aid provides representation to homeowners so they avoid foreclosure and save their homes. Legal Aid provides training and backup for homeowner counselors throughout southwest Ohio, so that more homeowners can stay in their homes. This program also reduces neighborhood blight caused by neglected foreclosed properties.
Legal Aid also represents individual renters and groups of tenants so they can keep safe and affordable rental housing. Legal Aid helps families avoid eviction, maintain utility service, and obtain repairs by enforcing tenants’ legal rights and building, health, and fire codes. As a result, Legal Aid prevents deterioration of apartment buildings in many urban neighborhoods.
TeamChild / Kids in School Rule!
In partnership with Hamilton County Juvenile Court, Children’s Services, and local public schools, Legal Aid’s TeamChild attorneys obtain school support and mental health services for youth caught up in the juvenile justice system so they return to and remain in school, and avoid further court involvement. Kids in School Rule! promotes academic success for children in foster care. Families also get legal assistance, such as representation in housing and family law disputes, to help establish a stable home environment.
Safety Net and Work Support Benefits
Legal Aid assists unemployed working people, veterans, and individuals with disabilities who need help to prevent a termination or denial of income benefits, and gain access to childcare, transportation, and transition-to-work benefits to increase household income and maintain medical coverage.