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Cincinnati Law Announces the Help Center, a Joint Venture to Provide Access to Legal Services

The University of Cincinnati College of Law announces the opening of the Help Center, a resource to increase access to the legal system.

Cincinnati, OH—Hamilton County residents navigating the court system without a lawyer soon will have assistance, thanks to the Help Center, which launched today, September 25, 2017, at the Hamilton County Courthouse. The University of Cincinnati College of Law partnered with, the Hamilton County Clerk of Courts, Hamilton County Commissioners, and Hamilton County Municipal Court to establish the Help Center, which is charged with aiding people with their legal matters in civil cases at the court.

“This collaboration between the law school and the legal community will fill an important need,” said Verna Williams, interim dean of the law school. “Too many people lack the resources that could help them avoid bad outcomes, like being evicted, for example. The Help Center will go a long way toward increasing the public’s understanding of municipal court and making the legal system more accessible."

The idea for the center emerged from recommendations of the Ohio Supreme Court’s Task Force on Access to Justice, created by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. Transforming that notion into reality was the job of a committee of local stakeholders, including representatives from the Cincinnati Bar Association, the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati and its Volunteer Lawyers Project, local law firms, the Clerk of Courts, Cincinnati Law, and the Salmon P. Chase College of Law.

The Help Center will provide limited legal advice and other general information on various areas, from small claims, evictions, collections, and landlord/tenant issues, to informing patrons about the appropriate forms to use and how to complete them, and more. Directed by attorney and Cincinnati Law alum Robert Wall, the Help Center also will be staffed by volunteer lawyers from the community and UC law students.

“This program is an excellent fit for Cincinnati Law,” said Dean Williams. “It directly connects our students with the legal community and persons needing assistance, providing them opportunities to put into practice what they learn in the classroom.”

Located at the Hamilton County Courthouse, the Help Center officially opens for business September 26, 2017 for limited hours and then will run full-time by November.

Hear from Chief Justice O' Connor about the Center