Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Free Legal Clinics To Be Offered During National Pro Bono Week

In recognition of National Pro Bono Week, the Birmingham legal community is sponsoring free legal clinics at several different sites in Jefferson County. The first two clinics are devoted to providing advice to seniors about issues related to wills and estate planning. The dates, locations, and times for the clinics are:

Tuesday, October 23: Senior Citizen Wills Clinic at the Gardendale Senior Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Wednesday, October 24: Senior Citizen Wills Clinic at the Fairfield Senior Center, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Pre-registration is required for these sessions. To pre-register, and to obtain further information about the sessions, please contact the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University at 726-4342.

The focus of the third clinic is broader in scope. It will give the public the opportunity to ask questions about any kind of legal matter that concerns them. The date, location, and time are:

Thursday, October 25: General Legal Clinic at Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church, 9:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

This clinic is sponsored by the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Group (BVLP). Attendees may pre-register, but walk-ins are welcome. Please call the BVLP at 250-5198 for more information and to pre-register.

Pro Bono Publico is a Latin phrase that translates into English as “for the public good.” In the legal world the phrase is shortened to pro bono and is used to describe services that are provided by an attorney, at no cost, to individuals or organizations that could not otherwise afford to pay for such assistance. Pro Bono services have long been a common practice in the legal community, but only in recent years have they been promoted by the designation of a special week devoted to making the general public more aware of their availability. This year, National Pro Bono Week will be held during the week of October 21-27.

The Birmingham Volunteers Lawyers Program was created in 1995 by the Birmingham Bar Association and Legal Services Alabama to provide local attorneys with a more effective means of designing and delivering pro bono services. More information about the activities of the BVLP can be found on their website.

For those wishing to research legal questions and concerns on their own, the Birmingham Public Library is a good place to start. Although library staff cannot offer legal advice, they can help you locate information on a variety of legal issues. The library’s Legal Self Help Subject Guide provides a useful compilation of resources with which to begin your research.

Jim Murray
Business, Science and Technology/Social Sciences Department
Central Library

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