Video Explainer: How to Use the LawHelpMN Guide

With the advent of the LawHelpMN Guide, your search for legal resources on LawHelpMN.org just got easier. The Guide is a fast and direct tool to help you find exactly what you’re looking for by filtering the site’s resources based on answers to questions about your legal concern or issue. Then, if a referral is sought, the Guide utilizes geographic, income and other eligibility criteria to display a customized list of potential service providers. Best of all, you can email or text yourself the results immediately. Just look for the words “send results” followed by envelope and cell phone icons near the top of the page. Then click on either icon, enter your information, and send.

For a quick how-to-use overview, watch our explainer video!

Hennepin Lawyer Spotlights LawHelpMN.org

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The July/August edition of Hennepin Lawyer magazine features an article on the newly redesigned LawHelpMN.org, by Tom Walsh, executive director of Volunteer Lawyers Network. Appropriately placed in a section titled Community Connections, LawHelpMN 2.0: The Supercharged Legal Resource and Referral Tool for Lawyers and the Public, makes a case for the usefulness of the site for the entire community: pro bono attorneys, legal navigators, the public and any advocate looking for a meaningful range of legal resources and referrals.

Notably, Walsh’s piece introduces the reader to the site’s pivotal tool, the LawHelpMN Guide, and with it, a user’s ability to generate personalized results (legal education materials, links, legal services) based on their unique situation. Read the full article.

LSAP Plays Central Role in Crafting Landmark Law to Protect Older and Vulnerable Adults

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After nearly two years of tireless work and advocacy, the Legal Services Advocacy Project (LSAP), along with other seniors’ advocates, state agencies, and assisted living providers, crafted landmark legislation that was enacted into law during the 2019 session.  It puts in place strong consumer protections against arbitrary discharges of, and retaliation against, older and vulnerable adults living in assisted living facilities.  It provides for appeals of discharges, and requires extensive planning to ensure necessary moves are conducted seamlessly and residents are transferred to safe and appropriate locations.  It dramatically expands public oversight of the state’s senior care industry by requiring that, beginning in August 2021, Minnesota’s assisted-living facilities must be licensed, as nursing homes currently are. 

"Minnesota is the only state that does not license assisted-living facilities," said Ron Elwood, supervising attorney of the Legal Services Advocacy Project, one of the leaders of a coalition of consumer groups that worked on the 168-page bill. 

The state Department of Health will now engage in an expedited rulemaking process that will add additional regulatory detail to the new comprehensive statute. Read more in the Star Tribune.

"We Are All Criminals" Founder Emily Baxter Kicks Off 2019 Statewide Conference

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As we enter the long-awaited summer months, State Support staff are working behind the scenes to prepare for this fall’s Legal Services Statewide Conference: Addressing Disparity: A Way Forward. The conference will be held Wednesday, October 23 to Friday, October 25, 2019 at Arrowwood Resort and Conference Center in Alexandria, MN. Conference participants will learn about the effects of racial, economic and other disparities on our clients and ourselves and how to address them in our professional and personal lives.

The conference will kick-off on Wednesday evening, October 23, with special guest Emily Baxter, founder and executive director of We Are All Criminals (WAAC), a non-profit organization and storytelling project about privilege and dignity, helping us think about criminality with more nuance, going beyond just good guys and bad guys by challenging perceptions of what it means to be “criminal.”

Before founding WAAC , Emily served as the director of public policy at the Council on Crime and Justice and as an assistant public defender at the Regional Native Public Defense Corporation representing members of the Leech Lake and White Earth Bands of Ojibwe charged with crimes in Minnesota State court. Emily is a former fellow at the University of Minnesota Law School where she began developing WAAC through an Archibald Bush Leadership Fellowship in 2012. She now lives in Durham, NC.

Emily’s kick-off session will be a conversation about crime, privilege, punishment, and second chances. One in four people in the US has a criminal record; four in four have a criminal history. Through stories, statutes, and statistics, we’ll examine the disparate impact of the criminal and juvenile justice systems on people of color and poor people across the country. The presentation will include first-person narratives and photographs. Read more at We Are All Criminals.