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Hammond Legal Aid Clinic

Office Information
Hammond Legal Aid Clinic
5231 Hohman Avenue Suite 605
Hammond, IN 46320
Phone: 219-853-6611
Fax: 219-853-6313
Office Hours
Monday through Friday
8:30am - 4:30pm


Staff Members

Kris Costa Sakelaris - Director
April Etheridge - Attorney
Lisa A. Berdine - Attorney
Griselda Barraza - Paralegal/Interpreter

Mission Statement

Through the establishment of a Legal Aid Clinic, the City of Hammond has committed itself to ensure that its senior citizens, as well as the economically disadvantaged residents of the City have access to legal services.

Why was the Hammond Legal Aid Clinic established?

This Clinic was established as a result of Mayor Thomas M. McDermott, Jr.’s desire to make Hammond a better place to live and raise families. While the direct benefits to the citizens who use this Clinic are obvious, Mayor McDermott believes that the indirect benefits to the entire community are equally as important.

Today the Clinic operates as an independent non-profit, 501 (c) (3), with support from the Mayor's Discretionary Gaming Funds

How does the Legal Aid Clinic benefit the community?

Community is not about “me,” it is about “us.” In assisting those who need help the most, the City of Hammond is fostering a true sense of partnership between its citizens and their government. Mayor McDermott’s vision of creating this positive partnership will result in better neighborhoods and a renewed sense of belonging to a community. In simplest terms, Mayor McDermott believes that when people feel better about themselves, they also feel better about the place they call home.

Do you qualify for legal aid services?

Applicants must meet the following criteria to qualify for services:

Resident of the City of Hammond for at least nine 9 months* AND
Meet economic requirements based on household size, weekly income and equity in autos and homes


Resident of the City of Hammond for at least nine 9 months* AND
At least 62 years of age AND
Little or no earned income

*This requirement may be waived for victims of domestic violence due to the dangers of their individual situations.

How do you apply for legal assistance?

Fill out a Legal Aid Application available at the Legal Aid Office.

If you qualify for legal assistance, a member of the staff will contact you to schedule an appointment.

How much does legal aid cost?

There is no charge for the legal assistance that will be provided for you. However, depending on the situation, there may be minimal costs that you may have to pay. These costs include court costs and publication fees. The State of Indiana requires the payment of court costs. The amount varies according to the situation, but is usually $104.00. Clients are also responsible for the costs of any legal notices which must be published in the newspaper. The cost for this is generally under $50.00.

What types of legal services does the clinic offer?

The Clinic provides legal advice and representation on many types of civil cases. Typical cases handled by the Clinic include the following: consumer issues, public benefits and assistance, housing matters, educational and other types of guardianships, landlord/tenant disputes, wills, living wills and advances directives, and various family law matters including divorce, child support and visitation disputes.

The Clinic does not provide legal advice or representation on any type of criminal matter.

Are there any other types of services that the clinic offers?

In an effort to meet the needs of the community, the Clinic is committed to partnering with other social services agencies and groups to offer legal education forums for Hammond Residents. It is the hope of the Clinic that by taking a proactive, rather than a reactive approach, some legal problems can be avoided.

There are times that problems may appear to be of a legal nature when in actuality the services of an attorney are not necessary. In these types of cases the Clinic is committed to helping people locate an agency or group that may be able to assist them with their needs.


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