Legal Aid of East Tennessee
The mission of Legal Aid of East Tennessee is to ensure equal justice for elderly, abused, and low-income people by providing a broad scope of civil legal assistance and advocacy.
LAET has been part of the community fabric of East Tennessee for more than 40 years, serving 26 counties from Chattanooga to Johnson City.
With offices in Chattanooga, Knoxville, Johnson City, Maryville, and Morristown, LAET provides civil legal representation to East Tennesseans who would otherwise have no one to help them secure their basic legal rights.
For many, we are the only link to legal assistance when faced with seemingly insurmountable dilemmas in civil matters. LAET provides civil legal assistance to approximately 8,000 individuals each year. From gaining Orders of Protection for victims of domestic violence to preventing families from becoming homeless, the efforts of LAET have ensured that thousands of low-income families in our community have been given a chance. But, there are thousands more to reach. With an estimated 300,000 eligible persons in our service area, our limited resources make it impossible to help everyone who needs us.
LAET, like most other legal services programs, began with the vast majority of its funding coming from the Legal Services Corporation, a federal agency that distributes funds to legal services organizations throughout the country. This federal funding has been drastically reduced over the years, and like so many other programs, LAET felt the pressure to find other sources of funding to survive. LAET has worked diligently to diversify and strengthen its funding base to ensure that the elderly, victims of domestic violence and low-income families continue to receive civil legal assistance in the face of federal budget cuts. LAET now operates with more than 30 funding sources and a growing Annual Campaign that draws support from local bar associations and members of the community. LAET is always seeking new funding sources in a continuing effort to fulfill its ultimate goal … justice for all.