Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation Awards Grant Funds for Language Access and Legal Aid Improvements

The Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation is pleased to announce that it has awarded $50,000 in grant funding, split between the Crawford County District Court, Community Legal Access, the Center for Arkansas Legal Services, and Legal Aid of Arkansas. These grants were funded through the Arkansas IOLTA Program. We thank our Preferred IOLTA Banks for their contributions that made these grants possible.

Caption: Crawford County District Court Clerk, Marie Johnson, and staff receive a grant check for language access improvements from Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation Executive Director, Jordan Bates-Rogers.

CRAWFORD COUNTY DISTRICT COURT

The Crawford County District Court has been awarded $5,000 in grant funding to be used for language access improvements. These initiatives will support Crawford County’s Language Access Plan, which aims to “identify reasonable steps to help provide language access to LEP [limited english proficiency] persons seeking meaningful access to programs within Crawford County . . . .”

Crawford County Chief Court Clerk Marie Johnson spoke about the grant: “Crawford County District Court is so grateful, and was so excited to receive a $5,000.00 grant from the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation. This funding will allow us to better serve Crawford County by making our court more accessible for customers with Limited English Proficiency, primarily Spanish, as that is the most common language in our area after English.  Serving the public is so important to us, and more citizens come in contact with Arkansas District Courts than all other Arkansas courts combined. We have a responsibility to present a positive image and communicate effectively. This grant will go very far in allowing us to do so.  We are very thankful.”

Caption: Community Legal Action’s Executive Director, Angelina Hollingsworth, accepts a grant check from Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation Executive Director, Jordan Bates-Rogers.

COMMUNITY LEGAL ACCESS

Community Legal Access has been awarded $15,000 in grant funding. This funding will support Community Legal Access’ efforts to provide reduced-cost legal help to moderate-income Arkansans. This service helps Arkansans who fall through the cracks because they make too much to qualify for legal aid, but too little to pay full price for an attorney.

Caption: Legal Aid of Arkansas’s Pro Bono Director, Ashley Norman, accepts a grant check from Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation Executive Director, Jordan Bates-Rogers.

LEGAL AID OF ARKANSAS & CENTER FOR ARKANSAS LEGAL SERVICES

Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services have been jointly awarded $30,000 in grant funding to be used for improvements to the statewide legal aid website, arlawhelp.org. The website, which provides free legal forms and fact sheets to the public, will have its interactive forms upgraded to a modern system. This will allow for the development of additional and improved forms to assist the public with common legal problems.

“We are thrilled to be able to support the work of these organizations. The funding provided to these projects will make a meaningful difference for Arkansans who are currently struggling to access legal help,” said Jordan Bates-Rogers, Executive Director of the Arkansas Access to Justice Commission and Foundation.