Since 2000, thousands of Christian Legal Society (CLS) members have donated hundreds of thousands of legal service hours to helping the disadvantaged untangle debilitating legal issues, seek Christian guidance for personal problems, and understand their rights under the law so they can lead more productive lives. Legal aid services include:
Legal Aid for the Needy
Through legal aid clinics, CLS members annually assist more than 8,000 of our neediest citizens by removing legal obstacles and helping them navigate everyday issues, such as housing problems, racial discrimination, and denial of Social Security benefits.
CLS provides support and resources to our network of legal aid programs, including training webinars, access to standardized forms, and a community of legal aid leaders to share best practices. We currently support 50 legal aid programs operating in about 125 communities across the country.
Spiritual Counseling for the Needy
Independent and locally run, CLS legal aid clinics also provide opportunities for Christian attorneys to share their faith without violating Constitutional provisions for the separation of church and state. Legal aid volunteers quickly discover that, in addition to legal issues, personal problems can interfere profoundly with their clients’ ability to lead more productive lives. As Christian lawyers, CLS members are able to provide spiritual counseling through prayer and referrals, and support clients who seek strength through the glory of God.
To prepare lawyers for a commitment to social service and legal advocacy, we equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to help clients resolve issues from a Christian perspective. Training sessions teach participants how to apply both legal advice and spiritual counseling to social issues, such as housing, work, bankruptcy, immigration, and family issues. Training workshops typically include local lawyers speaking on their own experiences as legal aid lawyers who share the Gospel of Christ in their volunteer work.
Preventive Law Seminars
Many Christian Legal Aid clinics provide preventive law training seminars for low-income people in the area. These seminars teach individuals their rights and responsibilities under the law, especially for issues that are likely to arise in their lives. Topics have included an introduction to family law, landlord/tenant law, bankruptcy filing, immigration, Social Security benefits, traffic law, and housing discrimination.