Overview of Client Services

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Overview of Client Services

  1. 1. Overview of Client Services
  2. 2. Who do we serve? <ul><li>Low-income Iowans in all 99 counties </li></ul><ul><li>Over 26,500 households were served in 2010 </li></ul><ul><li>Almost 64,000 persons resided in those households, 27,700 of whom were children </li></ul><ul><li>Approximately 17% of the clients were seniors </li></ul>
  3. 3. Who do we serve? <ul><li>70% of the primary clients are women </li></ul><ul><li>Iowa’s population is becoming more diverse </li></ul>
  4. 4. Subject Matter Areas <ul><li>Civil legal services only </li></ul><ul><li>No representation in criminal matters </li></ul><ul><li>Consistent with the priorities and case acceptance criteria set by the Board of Directors </li></ul>
  5. 5. Types of Service <ul><li>Direct Legal Assistance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Advice to clients (78.2%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Calls or letters to opposing parties, administrative agencies or others to fix or clarify situation (11.1%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Negotiation with opposing parties (3.7%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representation before administrative agencies—Department of Human Services, Social Security Administration, Public Housing Agencies (1.7%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Representation in court—small claims, district and appellate courts (4.5%) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Extensive service not included above (0.8%) </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Types of Service <ul><li>Community Legal Education </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Self-help booklets – examples: landlord and tenant, debt collection, garnishment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Information on website in many areas of law: www.iowalegalaid.org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quarterly newsprint publication entitled Equal Justice Journal </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conducting local events that educate low-income individuals, staff of other agencies and the general public about the law </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Types of Service <ul><li>Outreach </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Potential clients meet with staff in locations outside of the office to begin the intake process – often done at courthouse, domestic violence shelter or homeless shelter </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Often combined with presentation on legal rights and responsibilities </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Types of Service <ul><li>Volunteer Lawyers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Client referrals are made to private attorneys participating in one of the three Volunteer Lawyers Projects – Polk County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, Scott/Clinton County Pro Bono Project, or the Iowa Legal Aid Volunteer Lawyers Project, depending on where the attorney is located. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private attorneys sign up to provide free legal help to eligible clients </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Types of Service <ul><li>Volunteer Lawyers </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2010, private attorneys handled nearing 1,500 cases (reportable to LSC) for low-income clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private attorney volunteers provided over 14,000 hours of free service in 2010 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The value of these donated services is estimated to be approximately $2 million (valued at $140/hour) </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Types of Service <ul><li>Referral to other human service agencies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Referrals to local food banks, domestic violence shelters, crisis line, subsidized housing and other service available to low-income Iowans </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. How clients come to Iowa Legal Aid <ul><li>Telephone intake – every day from 9:00 – 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m.; emergencies anytime during business hours (8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) </li></ul><ul><li>Walk in to office – every day during business hours </li></ul>
  12. 12. How a client receives services <ul><li>Potential client is asked information by support staff to determine: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If there are any conflicts of interest with past or current clients </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Financial eligibility (income and assets) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If it is a problem Iowa Legal Aid can help with and some basic information about the problem </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Client speaks with advocate <ul><li>If advice and limited service is sufficient, the intake attorney usually provides the help and the intake is closed </li></ul><ul><li>If additional services might be offered, the intake is sent to a local office to review and determine whether the case will be accepted for further representation by staff or referral to a volunteer attorney </li></ul><ul><li>Representation is accepted or declined based on various factors including merits, availability of staff and of client’s ability to represent him or herself </li></ul>
  14. 14. Recent significant case work <ul><li>War Eagle v. Plummer, 775 N.W.2d 714 (Iowa 2009)—statute allowing notice in an eviction action to be given to tenants by certified mail, whether or not the tenants received it, was unconstitutional as a violation of due process </li></ul><ul><li>Mulligan v. Ashenfelter, 792 N.W.2d 665 (Iowa 2010)—there are limits on disclosure of mental health records in civil cases; in this grandparent visitation case, grandparents could not show a good enough reason to look at daughter’s mental health records </li></ul><ul><li>Doe v. Iowa Department of Human Services, 786 N.W.2d 853 (Iowa 2010)—Iowa Department of Human Services exceeded its statutory authority in placing a victim of domestic abuse on the child abuse registry for failure to supervise her child because the father of her child had abused the mother </li></ul>
  15. 15. As a Board or Advisory Council member, you can do outreach and refer clients to the program.  Tell people to call our intake number 1-800-532-1275 during intake hours - Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

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