Greater Boston Legal Services – Asian Outreach

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The Asian Outreach Unit (AOU) provides guidance, referral services and free legal assistance to nearly 1,000 low-income Asian immigrants each year. Our clients count on us for the most basic needs for themselves and their families. Our goal is to be a gateway to legal services and the legal system for all low-income Asians who rely on us.

 

Many of our clients speak very little – if any – English. Our staff speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, Toisanese and Vietnamese. We also hire interpreters for other Asian languages as needed to serve our clients.

 

Yet beyond language, low-income Asian immigrants also face distinct cultural issues to accessing legal services. Most come from countries where lawyers and the legal system are not accessible to ordinary people and some fear government agencies (including courts) because of past political persecution in their home countries. Some believe domestic violence should be tolerated instead of seeking help to be safe. Others may be afraid to come forward out of fear of retaliation.

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