Hello LAWM Friends!

Last month we began showing how the words in our mission statement become realities for our clients.
This month we'll focus on "challenging injustice."

Every legal aid staffer and supporter shares this value - standing up when someone is treated unfairly and saying, "Stop!". We are offended when the people who are most at risk are mistreated. They deserve a voice. They deserve fairness. They deserve justice. That's where we come in.
We Challenge Injustice...
At LAWM, one of our priorities is keeping our clients in safe, suitable housing. We want roofs over our clients' heads, especially when they are unable to care for themselves, and especially in wintertime.
"Calvin" lives with severe disabilities. Several months ago, his health was very poor and he was residing in a nursing facility. Calvin came to us when the facility tried to evict him for what seemed to be minor violations of residential rules. Losing his bed in the middle of winter when he was unable to care for himself seemed dangerous. And worse, the facility's only plan for Calvin was sending him to a men's shelter which was not equipped to care for him.

We investigated, determining that the facility's plan to kick Calvin out was improper and unnecessary. We represented Calvin and advocated for him at a hearing. The result: Calvin won, with a judge agreeing that he could stay at the facility, and that the plan to discharge him to a shelter was wrong. We kept a roof over Calvin's head during a time when he most needed it. And in the meantime, we connected him to an agency for help with finding a long-term housing and medical care solution so he can regain independence on his terms.
Our Pro Bono Partners
Our Pro Bono Program recruits volunteer attorneys from private practice to represent our clients for free. We do this because we always have more people who need help than we have advocates to help them. Also, our volunteers may have expertise or resources that we do not have at LAWM.

Our volunteer attorneys are rockstars! In 2022 we referred over 200 cases to them. We are still reviewing our case data from 2022, but we have an idea of the kinds of cases our volunteers handled.
Expungement has been a growth area for both LAWM attorneys and our pro bono volunteers. We're proud of our volunteers for stepping up to the plate when Michigan's Clean Slate law passed, but we're equally proud that volunteers keep representing domestic violence survivors, those trying to keep their homes, and others who face serious legal problems with no money to pay for a lawyer.

Just like our attorneys, our volunteers can't guarantee great outcomes for clients, but they can give clients a voice in our justice system, helping ensure they get a fair shake.
Donuts & The Law!
At our April 20 Donuts And The Law in Kalamazoo and St Joseph, LAWM Strategic Litigation Attorney, John Smith, spoke with staff from local social service organizations about legal issues affecting low-income home-buyers and -owners. Thanks to all who attended!
Every gift changes lives. Thank you!