The partnership between Legal Aid of Oklahoma and the Cherokee Nation is a win-win for both.
It also is a double win and a problem for Legal Aid because others are seeing how they can benefit from the statewide organization and want similar services. It also creates a need for funding and additional pro bono lawyers.
Executive Director Michael Figgins said the relationship with the Cherokee Nation is focused on helping people with domestic violence and medical issues.
“We are working with other Native American tribes who are seeing the advantage of having an attorney embedded in their organization to assist with legal issues,” he said. “We also are working with the Latino community in Oklahoma City to develop a similar program.”
A federal AmeriCorps grant for Legal Aid and the Cherokee Nation will make it possible for four attorneys to be located at the tribe’s headquarters in Tahlequah.