Thank you to our partners who make a difference for Oregonians

Attorneys that volunteer with legal aid increase access to the civil justice system to low-income Oregonians by providing critical assistance to people who would likely otherwise not receive legal help. Thanks to the strong support of pro bono attorneys statewide and our legal partners, legal aid’s pro bono projects make access to legal services a reality for low-income people. We thank you for your commitment to ensuring justice is a right and not privilege in Oregon.

volunteer spotlight

Elizabeth Lemoine-Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award Recipient

Elizabeth Lemoine
by Jill Mallery, Legal Aid Services of Oregon

Elizabeth Lemoine has been increasing access to legal services for low-income Oregonians for almost twenty years. Since 2004 Elizabeth has been providing legal help to Multnomah County seniors through the Senior Law Project (SLP), a pro bono project coordinated by Legal Aid Services of Oregon (LASO). She also advocates for low-income tenants faced with a notice of termination by volunteering with LASO’s Housing Notice Clinic.  Elizabeth is a recipient of the 2023 Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award for her commitment to reducing the justice gap by helping underrepresented and often vulnerable members of the community while displaying the highest level of professionalism.

Elizabeth grew up in Oregon and attended University of Oregon for both undergrad and law school. After graduation in 1993 she spent the next 11 years at home raising two sons, one of whom became a lawyer who practices in Chicago. Her other son works at the Nike campus in Beaverton. Elizabeth took and passed the Oregon bar exam on her first try in 2004. Thereafter, she became a solo practitioner/contract attorney to a mentor lawyer and began volunteering with SLP.

Elizabeth and her lawyer husband of 31 years have a private practice, Lemoine Legal Services, PC. Elizabeth specializes in administrative law work in the labor and employment arena representing public safety unions in Oregon and Washington and civil litigation in Oregon. In addition to her volunteer work, Elizabeth is the Chair of the Washington County Civil Bench Bar Committee and has served as a pro tem Judge for Washington County since 2018 handling Landlord Tenant first appearance and trial, contested stalking dockets, small claims and civil motions.

Thanks to the strong support of Elizabeth and other dedicated volunteers, SLP provides much needed legal assistance to hundreds of seniors each year. SLP consists of twenty monthly legal clinics scheduled through eight senior centers in Multnomah County. Attorneys provide a 30-minute consultation on a variety of civil legal issues to clients 60 or older, regardless of their income. Volunteer attorneys provide continuing pro bono services for clients who meet LASO’s financial eligibility with a variety of civil, elder law issues, including simple estate planning, POAs, advanced directives, housing, and consumer issues.

When asked why she volunteers, Elizabeth responded, “I volunteer with LASO SLP because I believe that I have been given incredible opportunities in life and it is my intention to give back and hopefully give others’ opportunities and assistance that they may not otherwise be able to obtain.” Elizabeth knows far too well that SLP serves seniors who often would not receive legal assistance if not for the assistance available through the project. Elizabeth reflects on the benefits of volunteering over her many years of service, “through my volunteer work with LASO SLP I have been honored and blessed to meet amazing people and hear incredible and often heartbreaking stories.  I am rewarded constantly with feedback, notes (and sometimes hand-crafted items) as thanks, from individuals who are so heartfelt and genuinely grateful for the services LASO provides for them-that I have provided for them.”

Elizabeth’s commitment to increasing access to justice is demonstrated through her many years of service and the spirit in which she volunteers. Shelby Smith, LASO staff attorney and pro bono coordinator of SLP remarks, “It’s evident that Elizabeth has made pro bono service a priority and an integral part of her law practice. We greatly appreciate her outstanding dedication to SLP as well as her strong support of pro bono.” Based on Elizabeth’s volunteer experiences, she recommends attorneys volunteer with a LASO pro bono project. She explains, “I think that meeting with clients in these programs reminds us of what it means to be a lawyer, and why many of us went to law school in the first place-to provide hope, encouragement and advice, on a legal basis, to those who are struggling to function and exist within the framework of those laws. Sometimes our law practices can be discouraging, and full of contention and competition with other lawyers.  Senior Law provides a bright spot in my practice that allows me often to listen, evaluate and advise on a matter within the scope of 30 minutes.  My clients generally leave the appointment more confident, relaxed and encouraged-which in turn makes me feel happy and valued.”

Elizabeth volunteers each month through the Hollywood Senior Center. Over the years, Elizabeth has provided legal assistance to more than 770 seniors. Ken Davis, Supervisor for Hollywood Senior Center, expresses his gratitude for Elizabeth’s work providing legal help to seniors in need. He describes Elizabeth “Liz” as a pleasure to work with and shares this about Elizabeth’s connection to the seniors, “one thing I always appreciate about working with Liz is her sincerity and approachability when she is meeting with clients.  She always greets them warmly and immediately makes people feel welcome.” Ken adds, Elizabeth’s “level of service over so many years is certainly something to celebrate.” One example of Elizabeth’s pro bono work began many years ago and continues today. Elizabeth helped a senior with an estate plan that the senior wished to update during the pandemic due to a complicated family situation. The senior now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s has trouble recalling why she made certain decisions. Elizbeth kindly explains to the client why she chose her past decisions to reassure and calm her.

Elizabeth provides all levels of legal assistance to her senior clients, ranging from advice to full representation and drafting legal documents. Elizabeth represents her clients with kindness and respect while providing the highest quality of assistance.  Susan, intake specialist at Hollywood Senior Center explains,” I am always confident in making appointments with Liz. With her vast experience, we can be certain that consumers will have a positive experience working with her.” In addition to her direct provision of legal services, Elizabeth has acted as a mentor for newly licensed attorneys and attorneys new to volunteering with SLP. Elizabeth is always willing to lend a hand and help. Whether it’s a senior in need of legal assistance or attorney in need of a legal consultation.

More recently, Elizabeth has been advocating for low-income tenants that are in jeopardy of losing their housing. Through the Housing Notice Clinic, Elizabeth has helped to increase housing stability for often underrepresented members of the community. In eviction cases, the majority of landlords are represented by an attorney or agent whereas tenants often have no representation. Elizabeth has represented tenants who have received defective notices of termination and helped preserve their housing against wrongful eviction. She has been willing to assist tenants located in more rural areas of the state where legal resources are limited and often unavailable.

Elizabeth’s lengthy pro bono work with the Senior Law Project and critical work with the Housing Notice Clinic has made an outstanding positive impact on the judicial system by increasing access to justice. Elizabeth’s volunteer service benefits not only her individual clients but the community at large. Elizabeth’s pro bono service is a bright example of how one attorney can make a difference.

Senior Law provides a bright spot in my practice that allows me often to listen, evaluate and advise on a matter within the scope of 30 minutes.  My clients generally leave the appointment more confident, relaxed and encouraged-which in turn makes me feel happy and valued.

Want to learn more about the Senior Law Bankruptcy Farmworker Family Law Expungement Project?

Our Valued Legal Partners

ProBonoOregon is honored to partner with the following legal firms in our mission:

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