Kansas Bar offers free CLE to Kansas lawyers Meeting the demand for legal services during COVID-19
Friday, May 15, 2020
Posted by: Ryan Purcell
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 14, 2020) —
The Kansas Bar Association (KBA) is offering a series of free continuing legal education webinars to help Kansas lawyers assist Kansas Legal Services (KLS) in meeting the increased demand for legal services. The Kansas Bar Foundation (KBF) is sponsoring the three-credit hour series of three webinars.
Since the Kansas shelter-in-place order, Kansas Legal Services (KLS) has seen an increase in the number of Kansans requesting assistance and legal services related to unemployment benefits, evictions and issues with an increased number of domestic violence cases.
“All of us have seen the impact of the current crisis on the provision of legal services with underserved populations being severely impacted. Kansas Legal Services is the frontline provider of legal services to these populations in Kansas. Now, more than ever, KLS needs the support of the Kansas Bar Foundation and the Kansas Bar Association to support access to justice as the need for these legal services is increasing exponentially,” stated Susan Saidian, KBF President.
The KBA, KBF and KLS have had a long relationship of collaborating on projects to serve KBA members and low-income Kansans.
“KLS helps thousands of people statewide each year, with the assistance of KBF funding. We would not be able to run the projects we do without the support of the KBF and KBA. This time has proven difficult for everyone, and those with less are struggling that much more. It is important that we prepare for a flood of cases in the coming months, and we will need volunteers to meet that need. This partnership with the KBA and KBF is just one more way we are meeting the needs of Kansans,” stated Christine Campbell, Statewide Pro Bono Director for KLS.
Kansas Bar Association members will be able to register for the webinars at no cost as part of their member benefits.
“The KBA is helping its members with making progress towards meeting CLE requirements at no cost while also helping enable pro bono work in our communities for the most vulnerable,” stated Mira Mdivani, KBA President.
The three-part series includes:
Eviction & Landlord Issues in the Time of Covid-19
Once courts open, there will be a flood of eviction cases filed and additional issues that tenants may face. The goal of this CLE is to train attorneys on general eviction law in Kansas, and the benefits granted under local and federal COVID-19 protections.
Protection Orders: What You Should Know about PFA and PFS
In Kansas City, domestic violence calls have increased 22% from last year due to the stay-at-home order. Kansas Legal Services assists in PFA and PFS filings, but KLS has been busy safety planning with individuals, preparing for when the stay-at-home order is lifted. Once dockets open, KLS expects a rush of restraining order filings and full dockets. This CLE will educate volunteers on PFA and PFS statutes and procedures, and on how to represent a survivor in a PFA or PFS hearing.
Unemployment Issues during Covid-19
The COVID-19 shutdown has resulted in 188,000 Kansans filing for unemployment. Benefits have been expanded, but what about denials? What is the denial and appeal process? Who qualifies under the old standards and the extended standards? In the coming months, not only will the denials brought on prior to the shutdown be back in question, but many Kansans have been denied benefits after spending weeks attempting to apply. KLS expects a flood of questions that every practitioner should be able to answer after this program. After learning the basics, attorneys can assist KLS with unemployment claims and future clinics that may raise these questions.
Visit https://www.ksbar.org/page/KLS-CLE for additional information and to register.
In 2019, volunteer attorneys provided 1,155 hours of pro bono work for KLS. Attorneys can volunteer at www.klsprobono.org or by contacting Christine Campbell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Amanda Wright, Director
Continuing Legal Education
About the Kansas Bar Association
The Kansas Bar Association is a voluntary professional association comprised of 6,800 members dedicated to advancing the professionalism of its members, encouraging public understanding of the law, and promoting the effective administration of our system of justice. www.ksbar.org
About the Kansas Bar Foundation
For over 60 years, the Kansas Bar Foundation has funded opportunities for the citizens of Kansas for charitable and educational projects that foster the welfare, honor and integrity of the legal system by improving its accessibility, equality and uniformity, and by enhancing the public opinion of the role of lawyers in our society. Since 1984, with funding from Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts, the Foundation has awarded more than $4 million in grants to provide legal services to those who cannot afford them and for educational programs in our schools for our children.
Attorneys are welcome to participate in the KBF Fellows program. Learn more at www.ksbar.org/kbf.
About Kansas Legal Services
As one of the programs born during the War on Poverty in 1964, Kansas Legal Services (KLS) provides legal services as it seeks to alleviate the burdens of poverty on low income Kansans. KLS has eleven legal services field offices and two mediation offices located across the state. KLS works with the Kansas Bar Association and its members to supplement staff resources by involving private attorneys in legal work on behalf of low-income Kansans.
www.klsinc.org or www.klsprobono.org