The Ohio State Legal Services Association (OSLSA) is the umbrella organization for the Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) and Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS). OSLSA holds a deep commitment to its mission of pursuing justice and changing the lives of low-income individuals and families. LASC and SEOLS provide assistance to low-income clients throughout Central and Southeastern Ohio in certain civil areas, including housing, consumer, public benefits, education, domestic relations, tax, employment, record-sealing, and basic estate planning.
LASC and SEOLS created Bridging the Divide to provide remote limited-scope pro bono help to low-income pro se custody litigants, specifically grandparents and relative caregivers, in rural Central and Southeast Ohio. Through Bridging the Divide, technology will transform how and when legal assistance reaches those in need, as it will facilitate video conferencing and document sharing between clients and volunteer attorneys. Pro se litigants will consult online with a volunteer attorney to obtain legal advice, hearing preparation guidance, and assistance with completing forms. Volunteer attorneys will provide services remotely at times that work with their schedule and availability, and clients will be able to participate from their home counties.
The goal of Bridging the Divide is to provide custody litigants with high-quality pro bono services through a complex custody process. By leveraging remote assistance technology and collaboration tools, Bridging the Divide connects attorneys with pro se litigants to increase access to justice.