Pro Bono Attorney Program Keeping Families Housed

October 12, 2023

Tenants facing eviction in Coolbaugh Township now have another advocate working for them to avoid eviction in court. The newly created Pro Bono Attorney Program provides free attorney services to tenants facing eviction at the time of their hearing.

When planning the pilot program for Pocono Mountains United Way’s Court-Based Mediation Program, members of the committee also discussed the possibility of having pro bono attorneys to advise tenants. One attorney attending that meeting brought the idea to the Pro Bono Committee of the Monroe County Bar Association. The Bar Association worked out the logistics, with a starting date of September 15, 2023, providing four attorneys who would volunteer to represent and/or advise tenants at the Coolbaugh Township Magisterial District court for landlord/tenant issues in addition to mediation. The attorney is only available at the time of the hearing and is not an attorney of record for the tenant outside of that court room.

“The attorneys bring a legal level of support to the tenant facing eviction. It gives the tenant a voice in the court room. It pairs well with mediation which gives an equal voice to both landlord and tenant,” said Linda Paugh, Pocono Mountains United Way’s Eviction Mediation Manager.

The first month was very successful with all tenants given advice and representation for their hearings. Four out of five cases were successfully mediated. All the tenants expressed gratitude to the attorneys for having the opportunity to meet with an attorney. Even the tenant whose landlord did not agree to a payment plan after mediation attempts said the attorney was able to get their rental arrears lowered, as the tenant had done repairs that were not reimbursed as promised.

While the Pro Bono Attorney services are only available on the day of the hearing, United Way’s Eviction Mediation Program is available before then to help tenants and landlords attempt to compromise and prevent an eviction. If you or someone you know is facing eviction and could benefit from mediation, contact Linda Paugh at 570-261-8023 or email

Read more about the Court-Based Eviction Mediation Program at