LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated working families’ struggles, sometimes even pushing them into bankruptcy, collections and even divorce.

8 News Now spoke to the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada on what they are doing to ensure the community has appropriate legal information.

“Don’t wait to get more information,” urged Attorney Peter Aldous of Legal Aid Center. “Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada is a nonprofit law firm; it provides a variety of legal services to people in Nevada who can’t afford their own attorney.”

Aldous provides representation to those in need.

“We also teach some community education classes to the public to give them more information about specific legal topics.”

Aldous revealed that in addition to not being able to afford an attorney, there are some Nevadans who can’t get to court.

“People certainly lost their jobs; they don’t know where to turn with debt collection, so it’s definitely a big issue,” explained Aldous.

Legal Aid is offering virtual classes on immigration, bankruptcy, guardianship and divorce. The best part? These classes are free of charge to make sure the community receives accurate, reliable information.

Additional free classes are offered in the areas of:

  • Collection proof
  • Criminal record sealing
  • Custody
  • Litigation trial preparation
  • Small claims

“We want to make sure that people, obviously, they are already dealing with this major crisis, that they aren’t being taken advantage of,” said Aldous. “There’s a lot of power disparity; people like debt collectors still have a lot of power, and we want to give people the ability to defend themselves.”

Bankruptcies will increase due to many people being without a job.

“Knowledge is power,” stated Aldous, “the more people get the information that we are providing, the more good we can do.”

Taking a bankruptcy class is the first step to getting a free pro bono attorney, if you qualify.

For more information on the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, click here.