Idaho Legal Aid Services Spring Newsletter 2011


Idaho Poverty Law Journal
The Newsletter of Idaho Legal Aid Services
Spring 2011

Open Book


It is a new year with both challenges and opportunities. Idaho Legal Aid Services, Idaho's only statewide non-profit civil law firm for the poor, wants to share with you some highlights of how we serve our fellow Idahoans. We are excited about new projects and collaborations even as we institute monthly furloughs and reduce firm staff due to budget cuts. We want to thank all of our supporters for enabling us to serve domestic violence and sexual assault victims, abused and neglected children, veterans, seniors, persons with disabilities, those facing homelessness and other vulnerable Idahoans. We also want to pay tribute to the legislators, attorneys and clients who supported our 2011 effort to obtain state funding for Idaho Legal Aid Services. With their continued support we know that Idaho will not remain the only state in the nation that does not support civil legal services for the poor.



Ernesto Sanchez,

Executive Director

Idaho Legal Aid Services  

Who we helped in 2010

Our clients say it best.


"I needed your services more than ever and had no money. My daughter needed to be protected from her father's drugs and alcohol problem. Thanks to you I got sole legal custody. Words can't say how grateful that is. Thank you!!" Peggy from Boise. 

case distribution chart

"Your service was a God-send as I am 76 years old and received professional help by an attorney that knew what to do. My sincere thanks to you all and God bless!" Mary - Lewiston

Photo of Children

New Projects for 2011

Two new collaborations with pro bono attorneys 

Idaho Foreclosure Prevention Project.

In 2010, Idaho had the nation's eighth highest foreclosure rate. In January 2011, RealtyTrac released its 2010 Year-End Top 20 U.S. Metro Foreclosure Rates report which rank the Boise-Nampa metropolitan area 20th nationally with an 108% foreclosure increase since 2008. ILAS responded to soaring demand for legal assistance in foreclosure  cases by launching a Foreclosure Prevention Project. The firm trained its attorneys to fight wrongful foreclosures and obtained grants from the Weyerhaeuser Company Foundation and Idaho Housing and Finance Association to fight improper or illegal foreclosures. Beginning July of 2011, ILAS will begin statewide fair lending/foreclosure prevention workshops.  Go to our website,, in June for more information.


ILAS funds to prevent foreclosures have only scratched the surface of the need so ILAS turned to the private bar for help. The Boise Inc. Legal Department and private attorneys from across Idaho have stepped forward to volunteer their services. We are still looking for volunteer attorneys and funds to make this a truly statewide project. To volunteer to help Idahoans in foreclosure or donate to the Foreclosure Prevention Project please contact ILAS attorney Zoe Ann Olson at 208-345-0106.


Pro Se Bankruptcy Clinic.

In April 2011, ILAS began a pilot pro se bankruptcy clinic in collaboration with the U.S. Trustee 's Office and the private bankruptcy bar.  During the clinics Ms. Bonnie Shuster and Mr Jerad Crawford from the U.S. Trustee's Office conducted an educational overview of the bankruptcy process followed by volunteer bankruptcy attorneys who provided one-on-one legal help to six low income pro se persons per clinic to complete bankruptcy forms. Four bankruptcy clinics have been held at ILAS's Boise office with more scheduled throughout 2011.  


ILAS would like to thank Boise Inc. attorney Bob Meek who helped establish the clinic,  obtained two computers for use by clinic participants from Boise Inc., and has found volunteer bankruptcy attorneys to staff the clinic through December.


The ultimate goal is to expand the clinic to serve participants at all seven ILAS regional office locations. ILAS is looking for four more laptop computers, so ten participants can be served at each clinic.

What we need for the Pro Se Bankruptcy Clinic

4 laptop computers with Windows 7 Professional operating system to expand the number of participants

Copy paper to print legal documents for clinic participants.

To donate call Zoe Ann Olson at 208-345-0106.

Senior Citizen Former Client

About Our Law Firm

Idaho Legal Aid Services is dedicated to providing equal access to justice for low income people through quality advocacy and education. We serve Idaho through regional offices located in Idaho's population centers and statewide advice lines that serve domestic violence victims and seniors. Over three hundred interactive online legal forms complete a website with extensive legal content. For office locations, advice line call information, interactive forms and educational legal content please go to

Thank you supporters!

As the recession has hit Idaho the low income population has swelled to over 180,000 persons. Individuals and organizations from across Idaho have stepped forward to help ILAS serve more clients.

LSC, United Way and Idaho Law Foundation Logos  


Idaho Legal Aid Services | 310 N. 5th Street | Boise | ID | 83702


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Posted: June 2, 2011