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Our Legal Services cover not only our LAV attorney team (Ohio Survivor Legal Assistance Clinic – OSLAC) but also our Legal Access Works (LAW) Legal Assistance Program program where we match survivors with panel attorneys .

Legal Access Works (LAW) Legal Assistance Program

Referral Guidelines

Refer to OAESV Refer to ODVN
Dating relationship and sexual assault (but no other domestic violence) Dating violence – physical assault, stalking, threats to harm, can include sexual assault if other DV present
Non-partner sexual assault – by acquaintance, friend, employer, stranger, other household member, teacher, neighbor, etc. Partner violence – physical assault, sexual assault, stalking, threats to harm
Child sexual abuse with no domestic violence against protective parent Child sexual abuse with domestic violence against protective parent

Eligible & Ineligible Case Types for Legal Access Works (LAW) Program

Potentially Eligible Case Types

OAESV and ODVN uses these criteria for accepting cases:

  • Survivors of sexual assault (intimate partner sexual assault), stalking and/or domestic violence (non-intimate partner sexual assault cases are accepted by OAESV)
  • Case type complies with program guidelines. OAESV’s priority areas in 2022 include but are not limited to:
    • K-12 and Campus Survivors
    • Immigrant Survivors
    • Rural Communities
  • Survivor’s personal income is at or below 225% of the federal poverty line (see Financial Eligibility chart); consideration will be made for extenuating circumstances for survivors with income above this level (i.e. paying on school loan, large medical debt, etc.) OAESV LAV Clinic does not have income restrictions, although priority may be given to lower income survivors.
  • Survivor is referred by an agency partner which has attended a training on project guidelines and related project content, and has signed an agreement outlining their responsibilities to screen cases, honor confidentiality guidelines and ensure the provision of safety planning and related support to survivors referred for legal assistance.
  • Survivor cannot be assisted at all, or in a timely manner through Legal Aid, Crime Victim’s compensation legal assistance reimbursement, and cannot afford private counsel.
  • Survivor has one of the following needs (case types). Priorities may change from time to time due to funding constraints; updates are posted on the advocacy list serve:
    • Protection Orders (for teen and adult CPOs, domestic violence, stalking and sexually oriented offense CPOs) and related contempt actions or modifications of violations of protection orders.
    • Divorce cases can be accepted, with priority given when:
      • There are children, with higher priority placed on cases where there is abuse or risk of harm to the children, and/or,
      • The divorce is needed to address current safety, i.e. to sever ties with a violent partner (i.e. we generally do not do divorces in cases with no safety issues, such as when the violence occurred a long time ago or the main abuse was emotional), and/or,
      • The divorce is needed to protect the survivor’s interests, such as the ability to access modest resources needed to recover and become stable, and,
      • There are no large assets that can be converted to pay for private counsel (in these cases, private counsel may take the case with a payment plan)
    • Contempt actions related to basic survival (i.e. non-payment of child support, housing, health insurance, utilities, etc.)
    • Custody and visitation actions (either custody/visitation cases in Juvenile Court or modifications of custody/visitation in Domestic Relations Court) generally when there is a history or clear risk of harm to the children
    • Economic Relief, where the legal need is related to the victimization:
      • Housing (private landlord, HUD, Section 8, foreclosure)
      • Employment
      • Foreclosure
      • Public benefits (TANF, Disability – SSDI, Unemployment, HUD etc.) – securing waivers (for child support collection, participation in TANF program requirements), administrative appeals, injunctive relief (such as refusals to transfer survivors in public housing), administrative appeals
      • Consumer (i.e. credit report issues, debtor issues, etc.)
      • Child Support (seeking to reduce obligations when appropriate for survivors re-entering communities from jails or prisons, seeking to enforce child support orders when state resources are not available for substantial periods of time)
    • Educational issues (safety issues on campuses, Title IX cases, other school issues related to victimization)
    • Immigration issues, such as VAWA self-petitions, U and T Visas; priority is given to cases where the survivor faces harm if returned to her home country (from war, famine, violence oppression, or harm by or on behalf of the abuser)
    • Civil legal assistance and advocacy regarding criminal prosecution (case negotiations, recovery of seized property for evidence, advocating in law enforcement interviews to protect victims from polygraphs, help with victim impact statements, and protection from other potential violations of their rights as crime victims, etc.) If this is the only legal need, these cases should be referred to the Ohio Crime Victim Justice Center; if Legal Access Works is providing legal counsel for other civil needs, the contract attorney will direct the involvement of any other legal counsel in the case.

Referring partners will provide eligible survivors with services without consideration of their actual or perceived sex, age, immigration status, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, mental health condition, physical health condition, criminal record, work in the sex industry, or the age and/or sex of their children.

Ineligible Activities

  • Representation in child abuse cases where the jurisdiction’s Juvenile Court provides the child or parents with counsel;
  • Representing a victim of domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault in a child protection proceeding, unless the client is the non-abusive parent and the jurisdiction does not appoint free counsel;
  • Class action suits;
  • Criminal defense;
  • Bankruptcy;
  • Tort actions (i.e. suing someone or being sued by someone)

Application Steps

  1. Advocate’s organization has submitted Referring Agency Agreement form (this only needs to be completed once).
  2. Survivor, preferably with Advocate, should complete and submit online “OAESV Legal Access Works Intake Questionnaire.”
  3. OAESV will send to the provided email:
    1. Release of Information
    2. Participant Agreement Form
  4. Survivor will sign and return both completed forms to OAESV.
  5. OAESV will complete application review process.
  6. OAESV will approve or deny case and provide update to provided email.

Financial Eligibility Legal Access Works (LAW)
OAESV & ODVN Civil Legal Assistance Program

Family Size Including Survivor Federal Poverty Level (FPL) 2022* 225% FPL
Annual Income
1 12,880 28,980
2 17,420 39,195
3 21,960 49,410
4 26,500 59,625
5 31,040 69,840
6 35,580 80,055
7 40,120 90,270
8 44,660 100,485

Family size includes all family members living full time in the home.
Income includes all income from all family members including child support.

Survivors at higher income levels may be eligible if they have extenuating financial circumstances such as high expenses or debt incurred for medical bills, legal bills, etc. (Generally high credit card debt is not considered.) Please call to check if you feel an exception should be made.

*The Federal Poverty Level is adjusted periodically, and we adjust financial eligibility for the legal services program accordingly.

Roles and Responsibilities

The OAESV contracts with private attorneys on a panel throughout Ohio (“panel”) and maintains the Ohio Survivors Legal Assistance Clinic (OSLAC or “clinic”).  Both the panel and clinic provide legal assistance to survivors of sexual violence.  Panel attorneys work on a reduced fee basis to advise and represent survivors regarding a wide variety of legal issues affecting their recovery.

Attorneys – Roles & Responsibilities
  1. Attorney provides OAESV with: Signed Contract, Signed W-9 IRS Form, Proof of Malpractice Insurance, and attorney information form.
  2. After accepting a case, Attorney represents client.
  3. Invoice OAESV monthly for work done in that month.
  4. When possible, attorneys attend CLE’s sponsored/co-sponsored by OAESV or its partners.
Referring Agencies – Roles & Responsibilities
  1. Program staff participate in training from OAESV or ODVN on program.
  2. Program signs agreement and follows program requirements
How to Screen and Refer a Case to OAESV
  1. SCREEN: Advocacy program screens for case for eligibility
  2. REFER: Advocate refers case to OAESV for approval including 3 forms.  If unable to be completed online, referrals should be emailed to legalserv@oaesv.org approval
    1. Intake Questionnaire;
    2. Release of Information;
    3. Signed Participant Agreement.

If you are referring a case that has already been filed by either party, please also send the most recent orders and motions filed.

  1. INITIAL CONTACT: As needed, OAESV contacts the referring advocate and discusses application and any concerns about eligibility.
  2. DECISION SENT: OAESV emails determination to advocate, clearly stating whether the case has been approved or declined.  If approved, a list of attorney(s) will be provided to advocate.
  3. ADVOCATE CALLS ATTORNEY(S): Advocate contacts attorney(s), provides information for attorney conflict check, and asks attorney to take case.  Attorney accepts or declines after screening for conflict.
  4. PAPERWORK TO ATTORNEY: Once an attorney accepts, Advocate provides signed approval form to attorney.
  5. CONNECT SURVIVOR TO ATTORNEY: Advocate connects survivor with attorney and gives survivor the Survey to submit to OAESV at the conclusion of representation.
  6. SERVICES BEGIN: Attorney meets with client and begins legal assistance.
  7. UPDATE OAESV: Advocate sends confirmation email to legalserv@oaesv.org that client connected with attorney.
  8. SUPPORT SERVICES CONTINUE: Advocate provides safety planning, emotional support and court accompaniment throughout the duration of the case (accompaniment as schedule allows) and assists survivor in collecting evidence and working with attorney.
  9. COLLABORATION: Advocate and attorney communicate about case as needed.
  10. CASE CLOSURE: Advocate notifies OAESV when case concludes.

BILLING: Attorney bills OAESV monthly. Attorney notifies OAESV when case is concluded and disposition of case.

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