At McDonald Hopkins, we believe in Dean Pound’s words. We also live them.
The needs of the communities we serve guide and frame what we do. Once we identify local needs, we take action. Whether we are performing pro bono legal work, undertaking public service functions, such as board service for not-for-profit entities, or getting involved in charitable campaigns, such as the United Way of Greater Cleveland, we focus always on serving those in our communities who need us most.
McDonald Hopkins Juvenile Court Pro Se Clinic -- Cleveland
The number of people who cannot afford the legal help they need to address child support issues in the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court is nearly overwhelming, and there is no agency or entity whose function it is to provide this help. Many pro se litigants are not being heard, because they don’t know how to present their claims and defenses in a format that the Court can accept and consider.
In an unprecedented collaboration, McDonald Hopkins in Cleveland is working with the Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court and the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland to provide those in need of help with free legal assistance. The goal of the Clinic is not to establish an attorney-client relationship, but rather to permit indigent people to proceed in the Court on their own, with properly-drawn documents and an understanding of their next steps. Our volunteer lawyers, after intensive training, meet with income-eligible litigants who have been pre-identified by Legal Aid. We work to empower these litigants to go forward in their own cases and give the Court what it needs to make a good decision in each case.
The McDonald Hopkins Juvenile Court Pro Se Clinic is offered monthly, pursuant to the schedule posted at the website of the Legal Aid Society: www.lasclev.org. Our attorneys, working with between eight and 30 people each month, expect to have a measurable impact on matters in the Juvenile Court, and a corresponding impact on the Court’s ability to reach litigants’ substantive issues. The inaugural Clinic, held July 31, 2010, was a resounding success.