Legal Aid groups its staff into four workgroups, each of which focuses on one substantive area of law: Protection from Domestic Violence, Consumer Protection, Housing, and Economic Justice. Staff attorneys in each workgroup represent clients with claims that fall under the workgroup’s substantive focus area. The workgroups collaborate with each other, and coordinate with other ongoing Legal Aid projects, to provide holistic representation.
Below are some general descriptions of the types of cases each workgroup takes. However, even if a case falls under one of these categories, it still must meet the eligibility requirements established by the Legal Services Corporation and the Case Acceptance Priorities outlined by Legal Aid of Arkansas and the particular workgroup.
Protection from Domestic Violence
The Domestic Violence workgroup helps with a variety of family law issues, including divorces and child custody cases where there is an immediate or ongoing risk of harm. Other issues this group might address include certain problems with birth certificates; some child support issues; dependency and neglect cases; emancipation; guardianships for adults and minors; immigration; and name changes.
The Consumer Protection workgroup focuses on asset, income, and resource protection. It protects consumers from unfair trade and debt collection practices. It files petitions to seal criminal records to remove barriers to employment and housing. This group's mission is to assure due process and equal justice for low income consumers who would otherwise have no access to justice.
The Housing workgroup fights housing discrimination under a variety of federal, state, and local laws. It defends tenants facing civil eviction suits and homeowners facing foreclosure suits. It sometimes helps with issues related to deeds, land sales, and contracts. It helps with some cases involving wills, estates, and powers of attorney.
The Economic Justice workgroup protects rights related to disability, education, special education services, employment, and unemployment. It challenges some denials of access to health services, charity care, or community-based services and supports. It helps with issues with health care access under the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid/Medicare, and social security. It addresses some issues with state benefits, veterans benefits, and benefits available to kinship families.