Legal Aid makes a significant – often lifesaving – difference in the lives of Arkansas’s most vulnerable residents by giving them a place to turn for legal help to resolve problems affecting their most basic needs. Read recent success stories below or visit the How Legal Aid Works in Arkansas webpage for more information about how we provide free legal help to those who need it most.
Making a Difference One Case at a Time
Legal Aid advocates are part of an honorable tradition entrusted to advance the cause of the impoverished, defenseless, and oppressed. Often, they make the difference between justice for some and justice for all. The stories below are a handful of examples of successful pro bono and legal services cases.
Grandmother Wins Guardianship to Provide Stability for Granddaughter
A client’s daughter died from cancer in February 2016, leaving a nine-year-old daughter behind. The client helped care for her granddaughter from when she was born until her mother passed away. The child's father had been incarcerated for making threats against the child's mother when she was living. The child's father was not an active participant in her life. When the child's mother died, our client needed assistance in getting guardianship so she could continue caring and providing for the child. The child's father decided to contest the guardianship. We won a guardianship hearing for the client who now can resume her care to the child and help create more stability in her life.
Keeping Mortgage Companies Honest
Client had been approved for a final modification to his mortgage, held by Bank of America. Immediately, Bank of America turned around and sold the mortgage to Green Tree. Green Tree changed his escrow amount from about $200 to more than $400, claiming there was an escrow shortage from the loan modification. Client applied for our services in early 2015 and we began an investigation. Green Tree had entered into a settlement agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau for just such violations as this. By getting the CFPB involved, we were able to get Green Tree to remove all late fees, extra charges, and inspection fees, have the monies the client had previously paid credited to his account correctly and lower his payment from $750 to $600 saving him considerable money every month.
Student Gets Help with School Accommodations
A young boy was diagnosed with diabetes. His elementary school only had a school nurse 2 days per week. The client needed insulin shots and blood sugar monitoring daily. Because there was no school nurse, client missed three days of school per week. The client was also being denied transportation services because the bus driver was not trained by a nurse in monitoring a child with diabetes. Mother was forced to quit her job to stay home with client three days per week.
Due to his absences, and with full knowledge of the situation, the school reported the family to truancy court. I was able to work with the school to get the child transferred out of the school and into a different school, Mom's school of choice, that offered school nurse services 5 days per week by an LPN. The new school agreed to provide tutoring services to catch the client up because of the days he missed. The school district agreed to transport the client to the new school and the bus driver is trained by the new LPN on monitoring the client. Mom was able to obtain employment due to client's full-time enrollment in school. I also worked with the prosecutor to get all truancy charges against the family dropped.
Make a difference for Arkansas’ most vulnerable citizens. Your donation to legal aid will support the critical advocacy of legal aid staff providing assistance to people who have nowhere else to turn for help with legal issues affecting their most basic needs. If you would like to make an online donation to support Legal Aid of Arkansas, please click on the link below.
You may also visit our donations page under How To Help for more information on how to donate.