State Bar Free Legal Aid Clinics More than Double in Attendance
By Alberto Rodriguez
April 30, 2013
In its second year, the Law Day Legal Aid Clinic event offered hundreds of Arizonans free legal advice at four locations throughout the Valley—and one in Tucson—on April 27.
Providing consumers tens of thousands of dollars in free legal advice, volunteer lawyers at each location helped answer legal questions about landlord and tenant, immigration, divorce, child support, and paternity issues, in addition to estate planning, and bankruptcy and foreclosure.
The Bar's goal in offering the free legal aid clinics was to help individuals get answers to their legal questions. The clinics, held at Yucca Library, Burton Barr Central Library, East Valley Institute of Technology, Isaac School District, and the Bar’s Southern Region Office were open to all consumers, regardless of personal income.
Cyndi Hale, who attended both the landlord and tenant and family law sessions at Isaac School District said, "I received great information. If I hadn't come today, I would never have known how to file with the courts." She said she cleared her schedule as soon as she found out about the clinics. "I told my husband, 'You're not doing anything on the 27th. We're going to the legal help clinics'," she stated.
Thirty-eight volunteer lawyers took time from their weekends to offer 78 hours of free legal advice at the event. When asked about her participation, immigration lawyer Magaly Fontes said, "I am a Mexican immigrant whose American dream came true when I became a U.S. Citizen and later an immigration attorney in Arizona. I love to reach out to my community and guide my fellow immigrants through their immigration case so they too can obtain their American dream." The Law Day Legal Aid Clinic offered the opportunity for her to continue fulfilling her commitment to community. "Thank you to the State Bar for hosting such great informative events. It was my pleasure to participate in the Law Day clinic as a presenter focusing on immigration law," she added.
The State Bar anticipates yearly growth in attendance and hopes that consumers begin to recognize its commitment to providing quality community programs.
Volunteer Lawyers included:
Shannon S. Bradley
Bryan L. Eastin
Judy C. Flanagan
Heather L. Stewart
David E. Swain
Jim P. Webster