Building a Just Society
The Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i is a public interest, non-profit law firm dedicated to achieving fairness and justice for Hawai`i's people through quality representation, advocacy, community partnerships, education, and outreach.
Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i (LASH) helps individuals and families who cannot afford to hire a private attorney with their civil legal needs. Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i primarily focuses on the following areas of law:
- Family - child and spouse abuse, divorces, child custody, visitation, child support, guardianships, adoptions, powers of attorney, paternity, advance health care directives
- Consumer - debt collection and debtor’s rights, foreclosures, garnishments, repossessions
- Housing - private landlord-tenant issues, Section 8 issues, subsidized housing issues, evictions, repairs, lockouts and utility shut-offs, security deposits
- Public Benefits - Temporary Aid to Needy Families (TANF), General Assistance (GA), Aid to Aged, Blind, Disabled (AABD), Social Security retirement/disability, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Quest, Medicaid, Medicare
The type of service provided by Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i staff depends largely on the type of legal problem faced by the client and the staff resources available at the time. Services offered can range from:
- Counsel and Advice: One-on-one consultation on legal issue(s), brochures, and referrals to appropriate agencies.
- Brief Services: Assisting individuals to represent themselves through a legal process (for example, walking clients through the steps necessary to file bankruptcy).
- Limited Representation: Assisting clients in negotiations and settlement of legal issues with the other party.
- Full Representation: Actually representing clients in court and administrative hearings.
Who Can Receive Services From Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i?
Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i clients come from a broad range of financial backgrounds. Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i offers services to the following people:
- Low-Income: Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i is traditionally known for helping people who are considered low-income (their income is at or below 125% of the federal poverty guidelines). In offering free legal services to the low-income people in our community, Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i focuses primarily on poverty law issues (family, consumer, housing, and public benefits law). For more information on our free legal services to low-income individuals, click HERE.
- Gap Group: Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i recognizes that most middle income families in Hawai`i cannot afford to hire a private attorney, but make too much money or have too many assets to receive free legal services. As a result, Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i created its Affordable Lawyers project, which helps individuals and families of moderate means (those whose income is at or below 250% of the federal poverty guidelines). The Affordable Lawyers project offers limited legal services for a flat, reduced fee. For more information on the Affordable Lawyers project, click HERE.
- Seniors: Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i offers free legal services to senior citizens (individuals age 60 and older) with their legal needs regardless of their income or assets. In assisting seniors with their legal issues, Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i focuses primarily on family law, consumer law, housing law, and public benefits law. The Senior Legal Hotline provides callers with free legal advice and counsel, and with referrals to other organizations which may be able to help. Call the Senior Legal Hotline Monday-Friday and leave a message by 1:00 p.m. Your call will be returned between 1:00-3:30 p.m. that same day.
Oahu: 808-536-0011 and Neighbor Islands: 1-888-536-0011 (Toll free)
- Others: Thanks to project-specific funding, depending on the legal issue, Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i sometimes offers free help to people of any income or asset level. For example, individuals who want information on homeownership and foreclosures can receive free legal assistance no matter what their income or asset level is. For more information on whether or not Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i can assist you with your legal problem, call our intake hotline Monday-Friday, 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-3:30 p.m. If we can’t assist you, we will try to refer you to someone who can.
Oahu: 808-536-4302 and Neighbor Islands: 1-800-499-4302 (Toll free)
To visit the Legal Aid Society of Hawai`i main website, click HERE.
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