For the thousands of Ukrainians seeking safety and security in Ohio, access to civil legal services is vital to beginning a new life in the United States. A new continuing legal education (CLE) course hosted by the Foundation is helping grantees participating in the Foundation’s Ukrainian Legal Services Grant Program expand their skill set, further improving services to arriving Ukrainians.

The National Immigration Project (NIP) conducted the CLE in February, which was attended by more than 30 nonprofit lawyers. NIP prepared a Ukrainian asylum case file and led a mock trial experience tailored to the unique circumstances of immigration courts and Ukrainians specifically.

“The idea was to provide hands-on trial skills training so that the nonprofit attorneys serving this population could really take their skill set to the next level,” said Camille Gill, the Foundation’s programs and grants counsel. “We see the Foundation’s role as ensuring that our grantees have the tools to do their jobs effectively.”

The Ukrainian Legal Services Grant Program, in partnership with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services, has already served more than 1,000 Ukrainians, which is a tremendous success. With thousands of Ukrainians now estimated to have settled in Ohio, the number served is expected to grow.

“We continue to identify ways to further help our grantees in serving this population, many of whom have complex immigration legal needs,” Gill said. “These are specialized attorneys with difficult jobs, and we want to continue to support them.”

The Ohio Access to Justice Foundation is the largest funder of civil legal services in Ohio. A gift to the Foundation supports legal aid’s work.