LAET provides civil legal services ranging from information and advice to complex litigation and appellate advocacy to low income persons in the twenty six (26) East Tennessee counties listed in this website. LAET also engages in Community Economic Development work with individuals and grass roots community organizations focused on protecting communities and facilitating economic opportunity for low income persons.
LAET presents a wide variety of law related topics to low income groups, not-for-profit organizations and others in the community through our Speakers Bureau. As a part of our community education and outreach efforts, LAET also maintains information pamphlet displays in court houses across East Tennessee.
LAET has special programs for seniors and victims of domestic violence that, due to funding source permissions, can be provided to persons who’s income and/or assets exceed the restrictions on the majority of our services LAET also funds and staffs Pro Bono Projects that recruit, support and utilize volunteer attorneys and other professionals to allow us to expand services.
The Pro Bono Projects are critical components in our effort to serve our community. We want you to know that we are committed to providing high quality civil legal assistance to the greatest number of eligible people possible. We constantly seek additional resources and partnerships to serve more people in need. However, we remain a very small program in the face of tremendous need. Several independent studies have shown that LAET (and similar legal aid programs across the country) have sufficient resources, including volunteers, to meet less than 20% of the existing need. Other studies have shown that half of the eligible people who actually contact a legal aid office must be turned away due to a lack of resources. Due to this reality, LAET must establish case acceptance priorities. We involve the community in making these decisions to insure that we apply our resources where the need is most critical.
We encourage anyone who may be eligible for our services to contact the office that serves their community. Please understand that we cannot help everyone, but we will do our best to help as many people as possible.