New Housing Notice Clinic

The Housing Notice Clinic is a new pro bono pilot project coordinated by the Volunteer Lawyers Project in the Portland Regional Office of Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO). To help address the housing crisis, the Housing Notice Clinic will provide critical legal housing assistance to low-income Oregonians. The vast majority of tenants in eviction cases are unrepresented. While Legal Aid attorneys represent thousands of tenants a year, the demand for legal services exceeds our resources to provide assistance to all those who qualify for our services. 

The Housing Notice Clinic matches pro bono attorneys with tenants to provide advice on their rental termination notice. The volunteer attorney will review a client's housing termination notice and determine whether the notice is valid or defenses exist using a comprehensive check-list. Attorneys will sign up in advance to be available to take a case(s) on a specific week using an on-line sign up system. When LASO has a client to refer to a volunteer, a scheduled attorney will be contacted with conflict information and confirm they are able to accept the referral. Once the attorney has accepted the referral, LASO will provide the client contact information, rental agreement and termination notice(s) to be reviewed. 

Time commitment: Flexible. Attorneys can sign up to volunteer when it works for them. Attorneys will sign up weekly to be "on call."  Attorney will review notices remotely and contact client via telephone and/or email to advise on whether their notice is defective based upon clinic materials. Attorneys have the flexibility to accept one case during their week or multiple cases. Also, the attorney may decline the referral if they are no longer available. Attorneys have the option of providing continuing legal help to tenants. 

This project is an excellent volunteer opportunity for young lawyers, lawyers interested in housing law, and attorneys who cannot commit to taking long-term cases.  A new CLE training video and extensive written materials are available for this project at www.oregonadvocates.org.  Mentors are also available to answer volunteer questions that come up during the course of representation.

For more information or to volunteer, please contact:
Jill Mallery:  (503) 224-4086 or jill.mallery@lasoregon.org, or
Erin White (503) 224-4086 or erin.white@lasoregon.org


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