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Licensed Legal Professionals Offer FREE Legal Advice at Central Library
By: Marcey Evans
FREE legal advice is available at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue)! Library customers can talk one on one with Tennessee-licensed attorneys, paralegals, and other legal experts from the Memphis Bar Association, Memphis Area Legal Services, and Memphis Paralegal Association.
“The service is free,” noted Jessie Marshall, Business & Sciences Department manager and Legal Clinic coordinator. “In some cases, problems can be solved on the spot. In more complex cases, clients will receive advice on how to straighten out troubling issues. Sometimes attorneys will agree to represent the person at no charge, although this meeting does not guarantee that the attorney will represent the person in court,” Marshall explained.
Legal Clinics, which occur the second Saturday of each month at Central Library, are open to the general public and are designed to address customers’ specific needs. The most frequently asked questions are about debt issues and bankruptcy, child custody and child support, divorce, landlord and tenant issues, employment law, and disputes with neighbors. These completely confidential sessions are “worth the time and effort,” Marshall said.
Only one Free Saturday Legal Clinic remains for 2013. It is scheduled for December 14, 10 am – 12:30 pm at the Benjamin L. Hooks Central Library (3030 Poplar Avenue).
Attendees do not have to be Memphis residents or Library card holders, and Marshall said customers generally leave the Legal Clinics very glad that they came. “Many clients exit saying they feel relieved after coming,” she said.
“I received great (legal) advice and learned about resources pertaining to my issue. It surpassed my expectations,” expressed one legal clinic attendee. “The attorneys who helped us were excellent. This was a godsend. Thank you!” echoed another.
Marshall said legal professionals’ primary motive at the Legal Clinic is to help citizens free of charge. “Attorneys volunteer their time and knowledge each month in an effort to give back to the community, in return to for the privilege of holding a law license in Tennessee,” she said. “Hiring an attorney is very costly, so there is a tremendous need for free legal services in Memphis,” Marshall noted. “Free Saturday Legal Clinics meets that need!”
For more information about the Memphis Public Library & Information Center’s Free Saturday Legal Clinics, call (901) 415-2734 or visit www.memphislibrary.org.
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