Colorado Legal Services (CLS) assists low-income Colorado residents with
civil law issues. (Defense of those facing criminal charges who cannot
afford an attorney is provided through the Colorado Public Defender's
office.) Civil cases include any kind of court matter that is not a criminal case.
child custody, landlord-tenant issues are all "civil" law matters. Colorado
Legal Services provides assistance with legal representation in civil
law matters, as well as providing information to help low-income residents
through the court system on their own. The CLS website provides links
and help to those seeking attorney assistance or help with civil matters
that include business topics, consumer issues, elder law, employment questions,
family and children matters and government benefit issues. The CLS website
is found at:
www.coloradolegalservices.org. CLS offices are located throughout Colorado.
The Colorado State Judicial Branch website also provides help for those
wanting to represent themselves ("pro se") through its on-line
Self-Help Center: www.courts.state.co.us/self-help/proseresources1.cfm.
In years past, Colorado Legal Services has been funded by attorneys through
attorney bank trust accounts. Under this program, the attorney directs
the bank to pay all accrued interest on funds in the attorney's trust
(escrow) accounts to Colorado Legal Services. However in recent years,
when bank interest has been nearly zero, very little funding has reached
Colorado Legal Services from these attorney accounts—at the same
time that the need for legal services by low income residents and the
unemployed has reached a new high.
Until interest rates again provide a stable and meaningful cash source
to adequately fund Colorado Legal Services, many private Colorado attorneys
have also pledged to provide 50 hours of legal services at little, or
no, charge to low income clients, putting into practice these professionalism promises:
A lawyer owes to the public a devotion to the public good and to public
service…and the contribution of uncompensated time and civic influence
on behalf of those persons who cannot afford adequate legal assistance.
We will endeavor to make legal services available to people who have legal
needs, but cannot afford to pay customary charges, and we will strive
to provide advisory or other assistance to non-profit community service
In Colorado Springs, many local attorneys volunteer their time to the El
Paso County Bar Association "call-a-lawyer" events held throughout
the month at various locations throughout the area. Other attorneys volunteer
their time to assist the neediest from crisis centers such as Ecumenical
Clawson & Clawson LLP puts their promises into practice. We have consistently pledged to provide
at least 50 hours of pro bono legal service annually for each of our attorneys,
the majority of which provides legal representation for persons of limited
means. The Colorado Supreme Court recently recognized Clawson & Clawson
LLP for fulfilling that pledge for 2013.