Legal Aid of East Tennessee formed

From Staff Reports

   The Knoxville Legal Aid Society (KLAS) and Legal Services of Upper East Tennessee (LSUET) have merged to become Legal Aid of East Tennessee (LAET), announced David R. Yoder, executive director.
   "This change is the result of program reconfiguration initiated by a state planning process required by our primary federal funding source, the Legal Services Corporation (LSC)," Yoder said.
   During last year, discussions were held to reduce the number of LSC-funded legal aid programs in Tennessee from eight to four.
   Southeast Tennessee has been added to the LSC service area of the reconfigured program which now includes 26 counties.
   Individuals should continue to use existing telephone numbers and addresses except in the Chattanooga area where the address has changed.
   "Unfortunately, new funding did not come with this federal initiative, and therefore, we continue to be capable of meeting only a small percentage of the community need," Yoder said.
   Each service area has an associate director. The board of directors is made up of attorneys and client eligible community representatives from across the service area.
   Case service priorities will continue to be determined locally and funds raised in individual communities will continue to be allocated to services in those communities. Volunteer attorneys and other volunteers should continue to coordinate service through their local offices, Yoder said.
   "We intend that this effort yield an even more successful program to provide civil legal assistance to low income individuals and community groups in East Tennessee," Yoder added.
   Questions may be directed to Yoder in the Knoxville office at (865) 637-0484. The Johnson City office of LAET, 311 W. Walnut St., may be reached at (423) 928-8311.