By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
On Wednesday, Oct. 24, as part of the National Pro Bono Celebration, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. the State Bar’s Volunteer Lawyers Program will hold a walk-in legal clinic to give free advice and counsel to persons who have a legal problem but can’t afford to hire a lawyer at the Lowndes County Courthouse Annex in Hayneville.
“Pro Bono Week is an opportunity for local lawyers to provide legal services to clients free of charge, particularly clients in Lowndes County,” Lowndes County District Court Judge Adrian D. Johnson said.
“For our area it’s a group of young lawyers from Montgomery who are going to come down,” Johnson said. “They’re going to be set up over here at the annex (the old Hayneville Town Hall),
Johnson said the clinic will provide a wide array of legal consultations so Lowndes County residents can consult with people regarding criminal charges, domestic relations, juvenile issues, wills and estate planning type issues.
“So, any legal issue that they may have that they would need to consult with an attorney on, they will be able to and come talk with one of the lawyers,” Johnson said.
“We’re going to have some our local lawyers assisting as well,” he said.
Johnson said the clinic is designed for low-income individuals He said if there is a large turnout the event would be coordinated with the senior center and the law library.
“Hopefully we will have a pretty good crowd and will need the overflow space,” he said. “It’s an excellent opportunity for lawyers to give back to the community and to provide no cost legal consultation to citizens in the county.”
Johnson called the clinic a great benefit to Lowndes County. “Unfortunately Lowndes County tends to be under served in a lot of area and access to free legal advice is often one of those areas. So this will be an opportunity for citizens to come and avail themselves of free legal advice.”
The Montgomery Justice Bus (a rebranded Faulkner Athletics bus) will be launched from the law school on Oct. 24th at 9:45 with an expected return time of 1 p.m., Christopher Kratzer, communications coordinator for the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law at Faulkner University Faulkner said.
“Our law students understand that they are entering a profession that values service to others,” G. Allen Howell, director of Career Services and Public Interest at the school of law, said.
Howell said his law students are particularly concerned about providing access to justice and legal services to those in Lowndes County and other rural areas.” These areas have a need for service and are often further removed from legal clinics or services offered in larger cities. As the only law school in the Montgomery area, we look forward to providing critically needed service to our region.”
Johnson said local lawyers, lawyers from Montgomery and third year law students will provide the advice and most will be licensed practicing attorneys.