The 3rd Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee continues to offer help to low income members of this community.
The committee sponsors a Legal Advice Clinic where volunteer attorneys provide free legal appointments; it also offers assistance in real estate matters and services for veterans. A separate program allows lawyers to provide services for the court in the family division. Some paralegals from area law firms are also helping with paperwork in domestic violence court.
The areas in which the lawyers help have been increased due to the overwhelming response from local attorneys.
“Many attorneys volunteer their time in these programs as a public service and are finding more ways they can be helpful,” said Judge Barb Crowder, chair of the Pro Bono Committee. “Their enthusiasm and commitment toward meeting the needs of people with low incomes make us proud to know them and to publicize their efforts.”
Forty-seven free appointments were scheduled from January through March. The attorneys who volunteered for the free appointments during the first three months are:
Will Asa, Rob Bas, Jared Giuffre, Thomas Hildebrand, Christine Kovach, Elizabeth Levy, Amy Meyer, Scott Meyer, Zachary Pashea, Barbara Sherer, Scott Snider, Gale Stipes, Andrew Velloff and Audra Zobrist.
Pro Bono Coordinator is Angela Warta.
In addition to the appointments, attorneys assist the Family division judges by serving as mediators to try to help parties settle their cases or as guardians ad litem. During the first quarter of 2017, 11 attorneys participated as mediators for parenting disputes and seven attorneys served as guardians at litem in court. Several paralegals from area law firms are also assisting with paperwork during the dockets dealing with domestic violence orders of protections in a new program sponsored by area law firms.
There is also a self-help center in the Madison County Law Library. Low-income individuals who do not have attorneys may make a 30-minute appointment on any civil matter (such as landlord-tenant, collections cases, small claims, guardianship, divorce and child support) for the second or fourth Tuesday of each month.
Low-income individuals who have real-estate deed or other problems may make an appointment to speak with Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer in the Madison County Law Library on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. And veterans who do not have attorneys but have legal issues may be able to be matched with an attorney volunteer who will help the veteran with the legal problem.
Qualifying information may need to be provided. Anyone who needs legal assistance or who wants to volunteer to help should contact Lauren Jansen at (618) 296-4472 or email her with their needs at email@example.com. Veterans are asked to specifically identify themselves.
– From the Illinois Business Journal