The Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association is a not-for-profit organization that has been providing services for over 50 years. This organization offers free civil legal assistance to low income individuals in Orange County and assists in the representation of minors. According to Martha Bergmark of the Washington Post "over two thirds of critical cases and American civil court, people appear without a lawyer, even though the stakes are often just as high as in criminal proceedings." The Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association helps to fill this void of legal representation for low income Floridians.
According to County Commissioner Bryan Nelson, “The Legal Aid Society is there to help our least fortunate residents of Orange County."
The Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association primarily focuses on family, housing, consumer, immigration, and social security Law. Family law specifically deals with such issues as Dissolution of Marriage, Custody, and Guardianships. These issues affect many Americans on a day-to-day basis, and individuals without legal counsel face an uphill battle. The Housing law specifically deals with tenant’s rights, foreclosure, or other loss of home ownership. Having secure housing is a basic foundation to a stable family. In regards to Consumer matters such as debt collection and bankruptcy the Legal Aid Society provides low-income Floridians with specialists to assist them. Immigration matters primarily deal with Green Card applications and the Sealing and Expunction of Records.
The incredible services that the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association provides to our local community continue to help build a safe and stable Central Florida. Also, there are ways for local residents to get involved and help make their community a better place through the Legal Aid Society. "VAC" stands for Volunteer Advocates for Children. VACs are dedicated non-lawyer volunteers who assist the pro bono Guardians Ad Litem “GAL” with several parts of their dependency cases. The most common way for VACs to contribute to a dependency case is to provide ongoing visit assistance for the GALs. Additionally, VACs also attend out-of-court meetings on behalf of the GAL to discuss case-specific issues, such as child placement and child contact with parents. The role the VAC plays in each dependency case is based on the needs of the GAL.
For more information or to get in contact with the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association call (407) 841-8310. If you'd like to visit their website.
Their current office is not set up to handle walk-in applications, and only through appointment can you be assisted. When you call make sure to asked to speak with the telephone interviewer. The telephone interviewer will take your information and determine whether the Legal Aid Society can help you with your problem. If you meet the basic guidelines an appointment will be scheduled for you at the nearest possible location. You will be required to bring information about the income and expenses of everyone living in the household, any court papers, lease, or contracts that are related to your legal matters. After all these basic steps have been followed, the application for legal assistance will be reviewed by one of the staff attorneys.
If you care about children and are willing to share your opinions with the GAL, then you are perfectly suited to volunteer as a VAC. The services provided by the Legal Aid Society of the Orange County Bar Association help keep our local community safe and stable. Although many Americans face the legal system without representation, the residences of Central Florida have a wonderful resource at their disposal.