Contact: Lara Slifko, AZFLSE
Phone: 602-340-7235

ABA Recognizes Arizona Legal Services Project with National Award

PHOENIX - Each year, the American Bar Association honors programs "dedicated to matching the unmet legal needs" with attorneys providing affordable legal aid.  The Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services reviews nominations each December looking for projects that have creatively approached the issue of delivery legal services to those who cannot afford an attorney, but who do not qualify for free legal services.  Projects must not only be exemplary in their approach, but must include a model that is easily replicable for other communities.

In 2009, the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education and the State Bar of Arizona, along with the Arizona Legal Services Agencies and local community leaders, started the Modest Means Project and LegalLearn Contact Center.  LegalLEARN provides legal information and guidance to individuals with cases in Arizona. The toll-free number offers callers automated information or staff support options for assistance. Staff offers callers contact information, programs for assistance, access to statutes and court rules, forms, general answers as well as other legal information. LegalLEARN serves as a gateway to the Modest Means Project (MMP).

MMP assists individuals making 250% or less of the Federal Poverty Guidelines with Bankruptcy, Consumer Law, Family Law, Housing, Guardianships and Wills & Trusts issues. In 2011, MMP will add Appeals and Immigration to its services. The Project provides 1 hour of brief assistance for $75. For continued assistance, the $75/hour fee continues. Callers receive an ID number and a list of attorneys working in the designated practice area.

In 2010, the Project received 10,897 automated/staff supported calls and assisted 477 clients through MMP's 54 volunteer attorneys. This comprehensive approach to assist individuals within the justice gap is the first of its kind in Arizona.

On February 11, 2011 the ABA presented the award at the ABA's Winter Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia.

About the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education

The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education provides technical and financial assistance to legal aid organizations, schools and community groups.  The Arizona Foundation for Legal Services & Education promotes "Access to Justice for All Arizonans" by supporting law-related education and free legal services and by promoting statewide collaborative efforts. 

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About the State Bar
The State Bar of Arizona is a non-profit organization that operates under the supervision of the Arizona Supreme Court.

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