Legal Services

Legal Aid of Western Missouri

Domestic Violence/Family Law
Through its family law practice, LAWMo makes it a priority to provide assistance to those trying to escape an abusive relationship.
One other program, the Pro Se Divorce Clinic, teaches those seeking a dissolution of marriage how to proceed on their own without an attorney. The clinic is held regularly at LAWMo’s Kansas City and Joplin offices. Monthly classes are also offered in the Clay County area.

LAWMo staff assist clients with such housing problems as lock-outs, utility shutoffs, illegal evictions, foreclosures, landlord-tenant disputes, habitability issues and housing discrimination. Clients are also assisted in enforcing their rights to safe and sanitary public and subsidized housing. ive.

AIDS Legal Assistance
LAWMo attorneys who practice in every substantive area of poverty law are handling cases involving AIDS and positive HIV diagnoses. There is no “typical” client of this project, but all have been diagnosed as HIV positive or having AIDS and are in need of legal assistance as a result of thes life-changing diagnoses. The program assists people who have been denied access to housing or who have been threatened with possible eviction because they have AIDS; those who have been terminated from jobs because they are suspected of having AIDS or are associated with a high risk group; and those who have been denied insurance coverage because of claims, among others, that the AIDS/HIV diagnosis was a pre-existing condition. The project also provides legal assistance with durable powers of attorney, simple wills and health care directives.

Consumer Law
Hundreds of clients seek LAWMo’s assistance each year with consumer-related problems. These cases include deceptive business practices, faulty home repairs, disputes with creditors, automobile purchases and repair problems, and bankruptcy.

Immigration Law
Staff assist individuals and their families with immigration problems including gaining legal status, temporary and permanent resident status, and US citizenship. In addition, the project provides counsel for those facing deportation and seeking work permits.

Municipal Court Defense Unit
Funded by a contract with the City of Kansas City, a LAWMo staff of seven full-time attorneys and one part-time attorney provide representation to indigents charged with jailable offenses in the City’s Municipal Courts. Over 6,000 individual cases are handled by these attorneys each year so that every person facing a serious charge is assured constitutionally mandated legal representation.

Volunteer Attorney Project
To help maintain a high quality legal services delivery program, LAWMo, in cooperation with bar associations in western Missouri, established the Volunteer Attorney Project (VAP) in 1982. Through this program, attorneys in private practice volunteer to accept case referrals from LAWMo on a no fee or pro bono basis. In addition to handling individual cases, volunteers also provide assistance through Project Consent, a program that helps non-parental caregivers of minor children obtain power of attorney or legal guardianship so that health care can be provided through Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Central Office
1125 Grand Blvd., #1900
Kansas City, MO 64106