I. Community Counsel Program
The Community Counsel Program is a collaborative partnership of Community Law Program, Bay Area Legal Services, Legal Aid of Manasota, and Gulfcoast Legal Services. This program provides legal assistance for eligible community-based non-profit organizations. The Community Counsel Program provides pro bono transactional services to organizations that are working to better the economic and social conditions for low-income residents and communities in distress.
We strive to help non-profits more effectively address the legal and risk management issues that arise in connection with their operations. Our goals are to help eligible nonprofits build and maintain their capacity to serve the needs of our community as well as provide a credible source through which transactional lawyers may offer pro bono services.
Our clients serve low-income youth; seniors and families; the homeless; low-income neighborhoods; victims of domestic violence; and the disabled.
Typically, the organizations we serve have fewer discretionary dollars in their budgets and generally cannot afford private attorney fees. When organizations are unable to afford attorneys, they either do not address their legal issues or hire attorneys with programming dollars, thereby reducing the services they deliver to the community.
The Community Counsel Program leverages its limited staff resources by matching eligible nonprofits with volunteer attorneys in the following areas:
- Land Use
- Real Estate
- General CCP
For more information on the Community Counsel Program, please contact us at (727) 582-7480 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
II. Self-Help Center
The Self-Help Center, which opened in October, 2007, is a collaboration of the offices of Ken Burke, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Pinellas County, the Sixth Judicial Circuit, and Community Law Program. The Center offers affordable legal services to the citizens of Pinellas County.
Unlike CLP's legal advice clinics, there are no income requirements in order to use the Center. The Self-Help Center is available to everyone.
At the Self-Help Center, citizens are able to:
- Schedule an appointment to consult with an attorney for $1 (one dollar) per minute at a minimum of 15-minute increments and a maximum of one hour. Payment must be made in advance to shcedule an appoinment;
- Use specialized software to assist in filling out eviction, divorce and/or small claims forms for a $5.00 service fee plus applicable form packet fees;
- Make copies for $0.15 per page;
- Purchase forms and packets for family, small claims and landlord/tenant actions;
- Have documents notarized for a $5.00 fee; and
- Perform legal research.
St. Petersburg Judicial Building, 545 First Avenue North, 1st Floor, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701.
The Clearwater Law Library, Old Clearwater Courthouse, 324 S. Fort Harrison Avenue, Clearwater, Florida 33756.
The Self-Help Center is open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
III. Guardian Advocacy Project
Our Guardian Advocacy Project assists families and other loved ones caring for persons with developmental disabilities obtain the legal authority needed to continue making decisions for their disabled loved one after he or she becomes an adult. We accomplish this by matching eligible families with volunteer attorneys.
IV. Lawyers Helping Young Adults Project
Our Lawyers Helping Young Adults Project will assist young adults aged 18 – 22 who have aged out of foster care or who are in extended foster care in need of legal assistance to help them obtain or maintain self-sufficiency. We will recruit, train, and support volunteer attorneys willing to assist this vulnerable population. For additional information, or to receive assistance through this project, download the project flyer.
Why is this additional service necessary?
A myriad of statistics show that when compared to their peers, youth who age out of foster care are less likely to complete their educations and obtain employment that pays a living wage. They are also at a greater risk of homelessness, of becoming incarcerated, and becoming parents themselves and then having their own children become involved in the foster care system. Before turning 18, many of these vulnerable youth have access to legal advocacy, but once they turn 18, they are often on their own. This project seeks to fill this critical gap in assistance and to help improve the odds for success for these young adults.