Locations: 1905 E Mission Blvd, Suite 6, Fayetteville
Vision: To improve the lives of low-income Arkansans by championing equal access to justice for all regardless of economic or social circumstances.
About: The Arkansas Legal Services Partnership is a statewide collaboration between Legal Aid of Arkansas (LAA) and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services (CALS). The collaborations purpose is to coordinate state planning, but more importantly, to enable LAA and CALS to achieve together what they cannot achieve alone due to limited resources.
We coordinate statewide initiatives with the two nonprofit Legal Services Programs that work together to provide free civil legal assistance to low-income residents throughout Arkansas.
The Arkansas Legal Services Partnership and the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission are helping Arkansans achieve greater access to justice with the following projects:
- The ALSP Web site has become a vehicle for addressing the pro se challenge that confronts Arkansas and the rest of the nation. By guiding individuals through the Arkansas state court system, the site has become a critical resource for those who must help themselves. It also serves as an important tool for the legal advocates helping low-income Arkansans.
- ALSP serves as the staff to the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission. In that role, members have helped to facilitate important changes in pro bono rules, court assistance projects, statewide educational activities, and legislative funding for both legal aid organizations.
- ALSP also serves as the staff to the Arkansas Pro Bono Partnership. We coordinate all of the legal aid organizations based pro bono recruitment, training and retention activities. Units involved include VOCALS, the Equal Access to Justice Panel, River Valley Volunteer Attorney Project, and Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly.
- ALSP provides training opportunities for LAA and CALS staff and coordinates outside CLE presentations. You can request a 1.0 CLE Ethics hour provided by an Access to Justice Commissioner and the ALSP Director of Justice Technology on using our Pro Bono Resources.
Services: Our two organizations assist thousands of clients every year in priority areas, such as family law, consumer issues, bankruptcy or evictions. We provide assistance in every county across the state. Learn how to apply for free legal help by calling the Statewide HelpLine, at 1-800-9 LAW AID.
Volunteer Opportunities: Attorneys play a major role in our system of civil justice. Providing pro bono services to people of limited means can mean the difference between justice for some and justice for all. Pro bono service is one of the most rewarding experiences in an attorneys career. Helping someone who would otherwise go unrepresented can bring a great deal of career satisfaction.
In Arkansas, as the population of those living in poverty continues to rise, there is a critical, growing need for legal services. One out of every five of our fellow citizens is eligible for legal aid. You can help make the ideal of justice for all a reality in someones life today.
The Arkansas Pro Bono Partnership was established to expand the pool of attorney volunteers to meet the civil legal needs of low-income Arkansans. It is the statewide registration and support system for the four regional pro bono organizations. We also provide form letters, pleadings and automated documents that you may customize for use in your pro bono and private practice. Additional benefits include secondary malpractice insurance coverage, CLE seminars at reduced rates and a monthly e-newsletter of available pro bono cases. After registering, volunteer attorneys work directly with the pro bono unit in their county service area.
The need for pro bono legal services has never been greater. As Arkansas poverty population grows, so does the need for representation of their interests. About 16% of Arkansas citizens live at or below the poverty level, compared to 12.4% nationwide. In the Delta area, fully 25% of the population lives in poverty. Meanwhile, federal funding for legal-services programs has continued to decrease, while the State of Arkansas provides no appropriation for civil legal services. Combined with the sizable, growing population of needy residents, this lack of resources creates a perfect storm of injustice. Private attorneys can help address these problems by volunteering.
To find out more about how you can volunteer, go to the website and click on Pro Bono Portal.