Community Legal Services Mission
To provide no-cost legal services to the most vulnerable in Central Florida, helping them protect their families, health, and livelihood.
Why we’re here
Community Legal Services is a full service civil legal aid law firm that promotes equal access to justice, which is a core American value. Approximately 50 – 80% of low-income Americans’ legal needs go unmet.
CLS provides professional legal aid to help low-income people protect their livelihoods, their health, and their families. We make it easier for the most vulnerable and disenfranchised Central Floridians to access legal information, gain legal assistance and representation, and to understand their rights.
CLS attorneys and advocates can help solve legal issues related to consumer protection, debt and creditors, family law, children and education, domestic violence, elder abuse and neglect, health and income-related benefits, housing, and veterans’ benefits. Every year, we help thousands of Central Floridians obtain and maintain the basic necessities of life, including: food, shelter, health care, safety, and education.
Nearly one million people in Central Florida qualify for CLS’s services. Our lawyers, paralegals, and advocates provide free legal aid, helping more than 20,000 people in Central Florida each year. We help low-income people resolve urgent, non-criminal legal problems that make a difference in their everyday lives, such as protecting the elderly from unlawful evictions, making sure women and children are protected from violence in their homes, and helping veterans receive financial benefits they have earned and need.
How we help
Helping the homeless with emergency shelter, fair housing, obtaining medical treatment, food, and public benefits.
Helping older adults with wills, powers of attorney, advance directives (living wills,) healthcare surrogates, guardianship of grandchildren, and housing issues.
Helping veterans with discharge upgrades, obtaining benefits, appeals of benefit denials, housing, and medical needs.
Helping the community with disaster relief to find safety, immediate medical, physical and emotional needs, finding shelter, confirming the safety of family, displaced students, SNAP/food assistance, FEMA claims and appeals, and replacing lost documents.
Helping families with divorce, child custody and support, paternity, alimony, and legal name changes.
Helping survivors of domestic violence with injections for protection, emergency shelter, medical needs, public benefits, child care, and food.
Helping people with identity theft, debt and debt collection, protecting personal information, fraudulent credit card charges, and consumer fraud.
Helping with public benefits such as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP/food stamps,) Social Security income, Social Security Disability income, Medicaid and Medicare health care.
Who we are
Our core values drive the decisions we make, how we work, and exemplify our staff, volunteers and partnerships. Our mission requires us to be a PILLAR in the communities we serve.
PASSIONATE – We eagerly fight for meaningful causes, no matter how challenging. Our enthusiasm for justice influxes others to join in making change in our community through their service, practice, and charity.
INTEGRITY – We are committed to honesty and professionalism in all our interactions. Trust is the foundation for the integral role we fill in our community’s system of justice.
LEVERAGE – As a team, we make a difference in people’s lives. We bring all our resources to the table to ensure that the clients feel supported, empowered, and heard.
LEADERSHIP – We are leaders working to find ways to make our communities a better place to live. High standards are in our books, and we pursue excellence in our practice and partnerships.
ADAPTABLE – We see opportunities to increase our impact. We listen to all ideas, embrace change and see continuous improvement in order to achieve better outcomes for our clients, organizations, and our community.
RESPECT – We treat everyone with professionalism, dignity, and respect. We keep our promises and embrace diversity, communicate with empathy, and foster positivity in all we do.