Since 1977, Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma has been providing free civil legal assistance to low-income persons and senior citizens. It is a non-profit, statewide law firm for those that meet a poverty threshold guideline. The primary cases the firm specializes in are income maintenance, domestic violence, access to housing, freedom from hunger, and access to health care.
Kade McClure has been managing attorney for the Lawton branch of Legal Aid since it opened in 1997. He said that Legal Aid's main goal is assisting low-income and senior citizens with civil legal issues they may not be able to handle otherwise, and most importantly for free. "Many seniors in particular live sometimes solely on social security, so they don't have the means to pay for legal representation when and if they need it," McClure said.
Funding is vital to the operation of the "free" legal counsel. The Legal Services Corporation and the Oklahoma Bar Foundation contribute substantially to the Lawton branch, as this branch is the hub for 10 counties of residents. McClure emphasized that the local United Way is a very considerable part of its funding, and the recent years boost has contributed in a great way. The reason being is that of the 10 counties and hundreds of thousands of residents there are just five attorneys serving the community and all qualifying civil legal matters. Additionally, for all domestic violence issues, which are abundantly prevalent every year, the State of Oklahoma provides some or all of the necessary funding.