LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- The Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada started out as three attorneys and a passion to help people in need. Now, it has turned into a large non-profit helping thousands of people to get through the court system.
The Legal Aid Center has just tripled in size, opening up more office space and taking on more staff attorneys. It also has an estimated 1,000 volunteer attorneys to help people in desperate need of legal services who cannot afford it.
Tiffanie Garrison needed help escaping an abusive relationship.
"They were willing to give me any kind of advice I needed," Garrison said.
She says the Legal Aid Center gave her the courage and help she desperately needed to get out and move forward.
"I wouldn't have been been able to leave him if I didn't have them. I wouldn't have had the strength because I would have stuck around because I couldn't afford it because I didn't know there were resources," Garrison said.
Daniel Turner, 18, entered the foster care system four years ago.
"What they do is phenomenal. For families like mine who don't have the resources, or don't know where to go, the legal aid center helps out a lot because we had no idea what we were doing."
He says his lawyer Brian Ramsey has been by his side throughout the process; he and his three siblings have been able to stay together.
These are just a couple of examples from the thousands of people the center has helped. Executive Director Barbara Buckley loves the way the center has blossomed.
"We take some of the hardest cases and the cases where the need is the greatest and these clients make our job so meaningful," Buckley said.
The clients are diverse and can receive free legal advice for civil cases that run the gamut from domestic violence and family issues to foreclosure and even special education issues.
"Having a voice in court can make a difference in whether you win or lose, and it can change the trajectory of your life," Buckley said.
Another legal specialty offered is immigration. The center currently has almost 200 cases.
The Legal Aid Center has also made sure many of its staff or volunteer attorneys are bilingual to help so many of their Spanish speaking clients in need of legal help.