West Tennessee Legal Services has given free legal help to people in need for more than twenty years. We are a nonprofit law firm representing people who live in seventeen counties in West Tennessee. Since our clients pay no legal fees, we exist because of funding from grants through private foundations, government contracts, and individual donations.
Because funding is very limited, we can only take the most critical cases. Each year we ask people in the community to tell us what kind of cases they think are most important. This is how we set our priorities and decide which cases we can take.
People from all walks of life give us a view into the community they see each day: clients, social workers, ministers, nurses, judges and lawyers. Each year, we mail more than 5,000 surveys and during the year, we conduct focus groups where we ask select groups to share their thoughts about our priorities with us. These focus groups are composed of clients/potential clients, other service providers or legal professionals. In an informal setting, we discuss the legal needs and how we address them in the community and assess a priority rating for each.
Please help us to help families in your community in West Tennessee by letting us know your thoughts. We welcome your comments and hope that you will keep us informed of the unmet legal needs you see in the future. With your help, we look forward to successfully serving those in need in West Tennessee for many more years. Topics are posted below.
If you have questions or comments,
How WTLS Decides What Cases to Take
The priorities established by WTLS will be implemented and developed through the following principles:
If you live in West Tennessee and would like to participate in our survey, please choose the 3 most important areas we should address.
Benefits: Food Stamps, Families First, SSI / Social Security, Unemployment Benefits, Welfare to Work
Children’s Issues: Dependency/Neglect, Custody, Well being/Support
Access to Education, Suspensions, Discipline
Non-Emergency Family: No-fault Divorce
Spouse Freedom from Abuse: Spouse, Disabled Persons, Elder Abuse
Housing: Evictions, Discrimination, Public Housing, Mortgage, Home Ownership
Individual Rights: Discrimination, Rights of Institutionalized Persons, Parental Rights
Government Services: Access for Disabled Persons, Police Protection, Public Transportation
Financial: Consumer Rights, Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults
Medical: TennCare, Medicare, Access to Healthcare
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