Start your own Court Navigators Program News of the Eviction Navigators program sponsored by Legal Aid Society of Columbus (LASC) fits in with a bigger movement of "in-court, same-day services" for unrepresented defendants in eviction court. What's really new about these programs is that the American Bar Association seems to be supportive of efforts to increase the help available to tenants who are unrepresented in eviction court. The LASC program will be built around a staff attorney who will be supplemented by pro bono (volunteer) attorneys from some of the big law firms in Columbus. In addition, LASC will build working relationships with social agencies, and use law students and other "non lawyers" to supplement the legal services for unrepresented tenants. This use of non lawyers is being done extensively in New York City and other local courts One goal of these programs is to keep tenants in their homes and reduce the cost of supporting a displaced family. A side benefit is that family members won't lose work or school time while scrambling to find a new home. Another goal is to give tenants a chance to "tell their stories." Bringing forward real claims can head off an injustice. What about your community's eviction court? Even if your local legal service organization is unable to take the lead on eviction navigators clinic, there may be some interest at your local Bar Association, private law firms, small practice lawyers, and social service providers. If you can show that some 'non legal' coaching won't slow down court proceedings and could bring forth meaningful facts to the judges, even courts might be supportive. All it takes is someone with an idea and some initiative to reach out. Interested? RHINO will try to help.