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Local free legal appointments remain popular

From Illinois Business Journal news services

EDWARDSVILLE — The 3rd Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee says free legal appointments held in the Legal Advice Center of the Madison County Law Library remain popular with the public.

In the first three months of 2015, volunteer attorneys provided appointments to 26 people on subjects ranging from family law to small claims cases.

“We are so proud of the attorneys who regularly donate their time to help low-income individuals understand their legal rights and the court system,” said Judge Barb Crowder, chair of the circuit’s pro bono committee

Among attorneys who have provided free appointments in 2015 are:
Brad Allen, Rob Bas, Beth Bauer, Andrew Caruthers, Jack Cranley, Tanja Cook, Joe Hill, Derek Filcoff, Chris Kovach, Caroline Karsten, Amy Meyer, Bryant Michael, Ian Murphy, Rob Priztker, Jeremy Sackett, Maureen Schuette, Marleen Suarez, Chris Threlkeld, Mary Beth Williams, Ron Williams, and Audra Zobrist.

In addition to the free appointments, attorneys also volunteered to teach one hour sessions on changes in the law to the rest of the attorneys who provide free legal information.

In January, Leonard Berg explained the new power of attorney legislation; the February session was taught by Judge Elizabeth Levy who went through the changes in the law on maintenance, and Assistant State’s Attorney Sarah Smith discussed veteran’s legal needs in March. The pro bono committee sponsors these education sessions along with the Madison County Bar Association and the Public Interest Law Initiative to assist with keeping lawyers trained for the Legal Advice Center and for the attorneys who are volunteer mediators and guardians ad litem for the Family Division.

The Pro Bono Committee reminds members of the public that they may make a free 30-minute appointment at the Madison County Legal Advice Clinic for family law or general civil topics such as collection, landlord tenant, small claims, or any other civil area of law. No criminal law appointments are handled at the clinic.

The free appointments are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. The appointments are for those of limited incomes and qualifying information will need to be provided. To make an appointment or to volunteer, call (618) 296-5921 or e-mail

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