LASP offers monthly outreach clinic at Coatesville veterans center

LASP staff attorney Deborah Steeves prepares for the monthly veterans clinic.
Inspired by her father, who served in the Air Force, attorney Deborah Steeves initiated LASP's outreach to veterans in 2013, with a goal of making it easier for veterans to get legal help. Since then, LASP has held a monthly clinic at the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center on the second Wednesday of each month, from 9 a.m. to noon.
 
In any given month, Steeves will see 10-20 vets. She's helped nearly 1,000 vets with their legal issues since 2013. Veterans bring many types of legal problems to the clinic. Some are related to their service, or to resulting health challenges. Steeves recalled a veteran who had to leave his apartment in order to get treatment for PTSD related to his tour in Iraq. When his landlord refused to refund his deposit, LASP intervened and worked out an arrangement with his landlord so that he could break his lease without financial penalty. Another vet gave his car away when he was suffering from mental health issues. "We were able to successfully get him his car back," Steeves said.
 
Steeves helps veterans with many other issues, including bankruptcy; divorce; removing barriers to employment; preparing wills, powers of attorney and health directives; and family law problems. Steeves recalled a custody case with a gratifying outcome. "A veteran father had not been allowed to see his son for a year," she said. "LASP filed a petition for custody and was able to get an order allowing visitation. The son was so glad to be able to see his father again, while the father was able to enjoy a renewed bond with his son."
 
If veterans need legal assistance outside LASP's jurisdiction, Steeves can refer them to the appropriate Legal Aid organization nationally. She also refers veterans to programs such as the Military Assistance Project, which helps veterans seek bankruptcy protection if they are over LASP's income guidelines. Widener University's Veterans Law Clinic, which accepts PA residents, assists with veterans' disability claims.
 
While LASP doesn't assist clients in criminal matters, attorneys can refer them to Veterans Court in the appropriate jurisdiction. Steeves noted that most Pennsylvania counties now have veterans courts, in the same way that some specialized courts address mental health or drug issues.

Thanks to Chester County Paralegal Association!

Chester County Paralegal Association presents LASP with a donation from its successful October 2017 event. Pictured (from left) are LASP attorney
Randi Riefner
 
Brian Doyle; Elizabeth Fritsch, LASP executive director; Barbara Butler, CCPA president and pro bono chair; Tracy Dussell and Karen Carter, CCPA fundraising chairs; and Rachel Houseman, LASP managing attorney for Chester County. Thank you to the CCPA for their hard work and for their generous donation.

Free Birth Certificate Clinic in Montgomery County

Do you have civil legal concerns ? Free legal advice Monday 8/21, 12 p.m. - 3 p.m. at KACS - Kennett Area Community Service.  Call 610-925-3556 for an appointment. Download a flyer

 

Trial Run Raises Over $19,000

The 13th Annual Trial Run 5k Run raised over $19,000 to support LASP Chester County Division's work to meet the civil legal needs of those who cannot afford an attorney. Thanks to  our supporters, racers and fans!
 
Event Sponsor: $3500
MacElree Harvey 
 
Gold Sponsor: $1500
Gawthrop, Greenwood, P.C.
Fox Rothschild 
John McKenna, Esquire
Unruh, Turner, Burke & Frees
 
Silver Sponsor: $1000
Steven Sugarman & Associates 
Riley, Riper, Hollin & Colagreco, Attorneys at Law
Lamb McErlane PC
 
Bronze Sponsor: $500
 
Brutscher, Foley, Milliner & Land, LLP 
Catherine Voit, Esquire
Kristin Camp, Esquire
Univest
The Law Firm of Barley Snyder
Chester County Paralegal Association
First Resource Bank
Buckley, Brion, McGuire & Morris, LLP
Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union
Bailey & Ehrenberg
D’Amico Law, PC 
Kunkle & Sennett

See the full sponsor list here.

Unmet Legal Aid Needs

In this story from The Intelligencer, reporter Jo Ciavaglia spoke with LASP''s Executive Director  Liz Fritsch about  the unmet legal needs of the poor, focusing on Bucks and Montgomery counties, and the ongoing efforts ofLASP to address these needs in the face of diminishing resources.

 

Proposed Cuts to Legal Services Corporation

President Trump's FY2018 "budget blueprint" released in March proposed defunding Legal Services Corporation (LSC). The full budget proposal released on May 23 has called for LSC's elimination, allocating only enough  to conduct a closeout.

LASP is facing a potential loss of 40% of its budget which would mean deep cuts in services for residents in each of the counties that we serve. This includes services to seniors victimized by consumer scams, women needing protection orders from abusive spouses, and veterans seeking earned benefits who turn to civil legal aid offices for help. If you have questions about how funding changes may impact LASP, please contact our Executive Director Elizabeth Fritsch at efritsch@lasp.org.

 

LASP Attorney Receives Renaissance Woman Award

Congratulations to Rodlena Sales, Managing Attorney/VOCA Attorney/Pro Bono Coordinator in our Bristol, Bucks County office. She is the recipient of the Renaissance Woman Award from A Woman's Place for her volunteer efforts with the organization and other Bucks County organizations.

Reaching UCSC

How to Reach the Unemployment Compensation Service Center

Are you having trouble reaching the Unemployment Compensation Service Center? Claimants can submit complaints via https://uccomplaint.org/, a new site created by Philadelphia Legal Assistance. The Complaint System also lists resources and information for claimants about the UC process.

 

 

Cy Pres Award

LASP Receives Cy Pres Award

LASP recently received a generous cy pres award through cases handled by Montgomery Bar Association member Cary Flitter of Flitter, Milz, P.C.. The $69,000 award will be used by LASP to give legal assistance to clients who are facing issues in the area of consumer law. In 2016, Mr. Flitter has procured over $100,000 in cy pres funds for LASP!

An Excellence Award

LASP Helpline Honored with Excellence Award

We’re so proud of our Helpline staff! They have been selected as 2017 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Award Honorees. Our Helpline’s staff field and manage calls from people in Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties who are seeking legal aid.

 

The toll-free Helpline is available Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m at

1-877.429.5994.

 

Congratulations to all of PLAN’s honorees!

Pages