News / Events



Message from our Executive Director
Karen J. Ladis
Over the past few months, our community has been affected by COVID-19 in ways none of us could have ever imagined. Throughout the pandemic, our staff have continued working remotely and been a beacon of hope for those in our community who are victims and voiceless, with nowhere else to turn for assistance. Though Legal Aid offices remain closed to ensure the safety of our employees, clients and community, we are here for our clients using a variety of online platforms and by phone. Many attorneys and law firms have asked us how you can help us during this crisis. We encourage you to join us by accepting a case from Put Something Back Pro Bono Project and give struggling residents hope and dignity.
To address the increasing numbers of clients facing unemployment and evictions, we created a Legal Helpline in partnership withthe  University of Miami School of Law Eleanor and A. Jay Cristol Bankruptcy Clinic and the Bankruptcy Bar Association for the Southern District, Dade County Bar Association and Arts Business Council, Inc.  Through this helpline, lawyers and law students are providing critical help for low-income clients, including nonprofits, artists and startups, with COVID-19 problems related to unemployment, the CARES Act, collections, evictions, domestic violence, intellectual property, and taxation. We also created a website to guide residents in need of additional resources
This month, we welcomed our virtual Summer Fellows, J'douna Pierre, a Kozyak Summer Fellow from Florida International University Law School, Yanina Onyewenjo, a law student also from Florida International University Law School, and Hayley Goodman, a HOPE Summer Fellow from University of Miami School of Law. We held a virtual Happy Hour so that our staff could meet each of these impressive students and are excited that they've joined our team and will be doing important work remotely!
As you renew your Florida Bar Annual Membership Dues Statement and Pro Bono Reporting Form, please remember Dade Legal Aid/Put Something Back and help us to be able to continue to serve those in need of free civil legal assistance. Attorneys may fulfill The Florida Bar Pro Bono Reporting Requirement by accepting a case, donating 20 hours, or contributing $350 annually to Dade Legal Aid and reporting your participation to the bar. Click Here to accept cases and/or make your donation to help the civil legal aid delivery system.Thank you very much.
Sincerely yours,
Karen J. Ladis. 
Executive Director 


Dade Legal Aid is operating remotely in an effort to keep our community safe and healthy. While physically distant, we remain virtually connected and committed to protecting the vulnerable going above and beyond to ensure the safety of our staff and clients. Our dedicated Guardianship Department Attorneys, Wendy Robbins, Esq., Juanita Cendan, Esq., and Kristen Feuer, Esq., are diligently preparing for and efiling various pleadings, documents, and annual plans for 800+ cases. Staff are processing new client applications for services, conducting hearings and meetings via phone and Zoom, returning calls and inquiries, as well as contacting clients and doctors of Wards in order to continue providing zealous representation during these challenging times. The team is also handling emergency matters and completing cases remotely including obtaining Final Hearings for Incapacity and Guardianship and submitting Orders through CourtMap.

Our Child Advocacy Project Coordinator, Nikki Weisburd, Esquire, has also been extremely busy during this period of working remotely monitoring the changing graduation requirements for Miami-Dade Public Schools impacting Foster Youth to make sure they will graduate on time. Our team is advocating to get expenses covered for youth who lost their part-time jobs so they will still have some income, working with doctors to obtain coverage for children who are being denied treatment although they qualify for services, and finding a new placement for a youth who was on the run. We have actively contacted our Child Advocacy pro bono attorneys for updates on their cases and are grateful for the requests for new cases from attorneys throughout the community.

To support our legal advocacy, please consider a charitable donation to the Dade Legal Aid Fund at The Miami Foundation (EIN #650350357). You may donate online on our website at the Donate tab or via check, credit card, or stock via mail or wire transfer to The Miami Foundation, 40 NW 3 Street, Suite 305, Miami, FL 33128 with special instructions that the designation is for the Dade Legal Aid Fund.

All Donors receive a Charitable Letter for Tax-deductible purposes. If you or your firm have time and want to volunteer remotely, please email us at or Click Here. We look forward to seeing you again soon!

Karen J. Ladis. Esq.
Executive Director


Dear Colleagues and Supporters of Dade Legal Aid,
We hope this email finds you safe and well during these unprecedented circumstances. We are in our fourth week of working remotely using various virtual platforms to remain connected with each other. In response to the coronavirus pandemic, we immediately initiated a Legal Helpline staffed by pro bono attorneys to provide answers to those seeking information regarding bankruptcies, collections, evictions, finances, foreclosures and unemployment benefits. If you have time to volunteer, our clients are facing new challenges and need your assistance now more than ever.
Please visit the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Website for important updates from Chief Judge Soto, and information about Zoom, the format for court proceedings until further notice. If you are currently handling a Put Something Back case, please let us know if you need assistance or a seasoned mentor with decades of experience by clicking here. To provide a case update on an active pro bono case, or if your assigned case is now closed, please click here. If you are interested in accepting a case, please click here or email
We are so grateful to you, our supporters and volunteers, who help to make free civil legal services possible to those in need. Your dedication and commitment are inspiring! As the world grapples with the effects of COVID-19, Dade Legal Aid continues to empower and engage our entire legal community to make a difference in meaningful ways. We are committed more than ever to our mission, and are here for you and with you.
Warm regards,
Karen J. Ladis. Esq.
Executive Director


Dear Volunteers and Firms:

Thank you for being ready, willing and present to serve our community during this crisis. Dade Legal Aid is following guidance issued by the authorities to reduce the threat of COVID-19 and we are taking all necessary precautionary measures to safeguard the health and well-being of our staff, families, clients, and volunteers, including having the lobby, stairwell, and all common areas professionally cleaned and purchasing the necessary PPE. In an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 and to protect all parties involved, and in accordance with the guidelines of the CDC, we continue to work remotely and will remain accessible to our clients, the courts, stakeholders, each other and the community via email and phone. As the courts are closed, please reschedule all upcoming in person meetings and appointments. We will continue to evaluate the situation and remain fully available to our clients and the legal community remotely until further notice.

Please take all preventative measures to minimize the further spread of the virus during these unchartered times and follow best practices for preventing exposure and illness. Although we are physically closed, please stay up to date with notifications and recommendations from the CDC and WHO or visit our Covid - 19 page for additional resources. I hope you and your families remain safe and well, and that I will see you soon!

Our heartfelt thanks to everyone for your support and cooperation. We appreciate you and hope to see you soon.

Karen Ladis, Esq.
Executive Director