Prizm News / April 15, 2019 / By Ken Schneck

Photo by Zackary Drucker as part of Broadly’s Gender Spectrum Collection.

New (and free) legal clinic offers support for LGBTQ Ohioans.

By Ken Schneck

Great news for LGBTQ Ohioans who are finding themselves in a legal bind due to their sexual orientation or gender identity: help is now just a call (or click!) away. 

Equality Ohio has now opened a free legal clinic specializing in LGBTQ issues. It is the latest measure of  support put forth by our statewide organization that advocates and educates daily to achieve fair treatment and equal opportunity for all Ohioans regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

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“Because many of Ohio’s laws are silent with regard to LGBTQ people, they are often treated differently or have unique legal needs related to discrimination, identity theft, and family law issues,” said Maya Simek, Managing Legal Director for Equality Ohio. 

People who need legal help, or are not sure what kind of help they need, can call 855-LGBT-LAW to be connected to the clinic, or they can fill out an intake form on Equality Ohio’s website. The areas of law that Equality Ohio is focusing on is wide, including victim advocacy, family law, name and document changes and benefit assistance (such as Social Security).

The clinic is made possible by funding from the Ohio State Bar Foundation, the Cleveland Foundation, and a Victims of Crime Advocacy grant through the Ohio Attorney General’s office.

Additionally, the clinic is encouraging attorneys from around the state to join to their Attorney Referral Network, which serves as a source of expertise and referrals. Practicing attorneys can receive CLEs if they take on work from the referral network for individuals living under 300% of the federal poverty level. To join the Attorney Referral Network, sign up here. 

Equality Ohio will also be doing weekly intakes around the state and develop a series of Know-Your-Rights guides for LGBTQ Ohioans. 

With an ever changing landscape for LGBTQ rights, knowledge is most certainly power in this legal arena so don’t hesitate to take advantage of these opportunities to have knowledgeable experts firmly in your corner.