Open Legal Services

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Open Legal Services is a nonprofit (yes, I said nonprofit) law firm located in downtown Salt Lake City. They are not your typical lawyers;  their goal is to make sure EVERYONE can afford an attorney and get the help they need. They offer divorce, custody, and criminal representation based on the client’s ability to pay. This is a great local nonprofit that helps all kinds of families throughout the valley and an organization that is great to work with. If you would like to know more about Open Legal Services, click HERE or to donate, please click HERE.

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12.19.2015 – Let’s help OLS move into a new office! Click HERE to go to their RAZOO.

OLS currently has two attorneys working in every office. They are in the basement with no windows, and no furnace! They NEED to move.

Here is a little description of what OLS does for families in our community:

“To get an idea of the great work we do, here is a story about Manuel. You can help use serve more clients just like him.

Shortly after his daughter was born, 14 years ago, Manuel and his wife divorced. Full custody of his daughter was awarded to her mom, and for a time that was a safe and agreeable environment. They moved around often which took the child in and out of the state and eventually communication became difficult and at times nonexistent. Over the years many things changed for the worse. Manuel’s daughter ended up in a very dangerous and vulnerable situation, living on the streets and surrounded by drug addicts.

Manuel needed legal assistance to find his daughter and get custody. He was barely surviving from paycheck to paycheck supporting his new wife and two children on one income. It was then that he was referred to Open Legal Services, a nonprofit charitable law firm for those who earn too much money to qualify free legal help. OLS attorneys work on a sliding scale, to be a more affordable option for every day Utahans.

“I explained the situation with my daughter, the danger she was in, as well as my financial concerns. From the beginning they were so understanding, and empathetic. My attorney showed genuine concern for me and my daughter, and eased my worries immediately regarding payment. She worked on my case diligently and removed an immense load of stress from my shoulders. Within days, my daughter was temporarily in my custody, to secure her safety, and we were able to proceed with a more permanent solution. Shantelle and her team managed to accomplish what I never could have alone.”

In Utah, nearly 9,000 custody and divorce cases per year have parties with no attorney to help them. This is the “Access to Justice” problem that many are trying to solve. OLS and income-based legal fees are a potential solution to bridge the justice gap and help people like Manuel.

“I am extremely grateful to Open Legal Services. I know I could not have done it without their help.”

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