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Christian Legal Aid

While still engaged in the practice of law, I had the privilege of co-founding and leading the predecessor of today’s Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, a volunteer organization providing Christian legal aid at no cost to impoverished clients.

Christian legal aid involves service to the poor for the love of God. I was introduced to the concept by the Christian Legal Society. The CLS model couples legal aid with social services provided by sponsor organizations. Food, clothing, shelter, and other services are supplied to clients in need.

Though lawyers have a reputation for pride, Christian legal aid is delivered in a spirit of humility, in accord with Christian principles. This requires that the client – whatever his or her condition, whatever his or her beliefs – be treated with kindness  and respect, as one would treat Christ. In addition, Christian legal aid allows participating legal professionals to pray with interested clients.

The gratitude for my own meager efforts was overwhelming. One elderly woman living on an upper floor in a condemned building made me the gift of an embroidered handkerchief.  I treasure it to this day.

Please, consider getting involved, no matter what your area of expertise may be. There are Christian legal aid offices all across the country.  Training is available, and the need is tremendous.

” ‘…[L] ift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest!’ ” (John 4: 35).

ANNA WALDHERR

 

 

Copyright 2001-2017 Anna Waldherr.  All rights reserved.

5 Comments
  1. May God bless you exceedingly and abundantly for the help that you give the less fortunate.

    • Thank you for your kind wishes! I have with God’s help survived my own hardships. If through my writing or the law I have been of assistance or encouragement to anyone, I’m deeply gratified.

      A.

      • I totally understand. Please check out my website at http://www.secretangelministry.org
        God rescued me and I also want to help as many victims as I can to find their way out of their situations. Victims advocates and legal aid are so important to help these victims, many who have nothing.. Again, God bless you!!!

  2. Though I have not been able to find someone with the heart for others as yourself. I say thanks on the behalf of people like myself who can’t get justice because of not having the money to pay to retain an attorney. One attorney even scolded me and told me he has to feed his family. I was hurt by his comment. So I say keep up the great work we need you. God Bless you!
    Joyce Monfort

    • It breaks my heart to hear that, Joyce. It is true there are too few resources for the poor and disadvantaged. The Christian Legal Society http://www.christianlegalsociety.org maintains a list of offices doing pro bono work, but Christian legal aid is not available everywhere.

      While government-funded legal aid exists in every state http://www.lsc.gov/find-legal-aid, the number of lawyers is limited. That can mean delays. Domestic abuse, family law, housing, and public benefits (Social Security, Food Stamps, etc.) are usually the only types of cases falling within the guidelines, and income requirements apply. Information on attorneys and organizations dealing with domestic abuse can, also, be obtained from http://www.womenslaw.org.

      Often, bar associations will have referral services (sometimes with an initial consultation free or at a reduced rate). But, as a general rule, only personal injury litigation is taken for an agreed on percentage of the amount ultimately recovered, rather than an hourly rate. Divorce and bankruptcy tend to be hourly.

      I wish there were more I could offer. May God keep you in His care.

      Anna

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