Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands announced that it has received a one-year, $125,000 grant from the Legal Services Corporation to assist victims affected by the March 2020 tornadoes in Middle Tennessee. The LSC Disaster Relief Emergency Grant will provide funding for Legal Aid Society to provide additional direct legal services, educational outreach and free legal clinics to low-income disaster victims in Davidson, Putnam and Wilson counties. Legal Aid Society will be eligible for a second grant next year of an equal amount.
“Many victims of the March tornadoes are still rebuilding their lives from devastation and, unfortunately, continue to face ongoing legal issues,” said DarKenya W. Waller, executive director of Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands. “We’re very grateful to receive this grant from the Legal Services Corporation and intend to use it wisely, providing our neighbors with expertise to guide them on the path to recovery.” Legal Aid will host three virtual legal clinics for disaster victims in spring 2021 — one each in Davidson, Putnam and Wilson counties — and will recruit pro bono attorneys to assist and provide legal services. The nonprofit also plans to produce promotional materials, educational videos and self-help brochures for disaster victims.
To help meet the goals of the grant, Legal Aid has hired a full-time disaster relief attorney, Bridget Stewart, who will provide direct legal services to victims. Existing employee Dorie Williams will do full-time paralegal support and outreach providing educational opportunities on disaster recovery legal issues to attorneys assisting victims. For more information about Legal Aid Society and the services it provides to low-income Middle Tennesseeans, please contact the firm at 800-238-1443 or visit www.las.org.