COMMUNITY LEGAL SERVICES OF MID-FLORIDA COMPLETES DISASTER OUTREACH PROJECT
[ORLANDO, FLORIDA] —Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida Inc., (CLSMF) is proud to announce a successful end to its two-year Disaster Grant project. Funded by the Legal Services Corporation in October 2018 for survivors of hurricanes Irma and Maria, the project focused on enhancing technology and infrastructure to a) promote legal information and legal advice for Central Floridians who are still restoring their financial and legal well-being after the storms; and b) improve the tools and procedures in ways that allow CLSMF to mobilize disaster relief efforts during current and future disasters. Through this generous grant from the Legal Services Corporation, CLSMF attorneys and pro bono volunteers were able to find and assist Irma and Maria survivors with 72 legal cases, devoting over 525 hours of free legal expertise, years after the storms had passed. During the project, CLSMF redesigned its website to include an expansive self-help library of legal information written for consumers in plain language in both English and Spanish.
Since the website’s relaunch in January 2020, the self-help web pages on CLSMF.org have been viewed over 200,000 times by people needing legal information. The new website now features online client applications for legal assistance and a real-time chat window for people to use as an alternative to calling the legal advice HELPLine.. CLSMF also launched a new phone system to connect the online chat and caller queues which are monitored by CLSMF’s HELPLine attorneys. The final portion of the project integrated the Legal.io pro bono attorney matching system with CLSMF’s LegalServer case management system. As a result of this project, private attorneys who want to volunteer their legal expertise can sign up online, select their areas of expertise, and get matched with various case requests made by CLSMF's low-income clients.
Since the beginning of the project, 2,498 case referrals have been made through the LegalServer electronic transfer network in Florida. The majority of these were transferred to CLSMF through the statewide online intake portal, which is linked to CLSMF’s website from the new online intake and eligibility screening option.
Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc.
122 East Colonial Drive #200
Orlando, FL 32801
Press Contact: Michelle Wargo
CLSMF is a nonprofit law firm striving to remove barriers to justice by empowering vulnerable communities through legal advocacy and education. As the primary provider of no-cost legal aid for low to moderate-income residents in Central Florida, we provide legal assistance and advocacy to help people obtain the necessities of life: food, shelter, health care, safety, and education.This release was published on openPR.