The end of the 2015 calendar year has been a busy time for Madison County lawyers who donate time for free legal appointments to low-income residents and for those who provide training to these lawyers.
According to the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee, this season of thanks and celebration is the perfect time to recognize those who donated time in October, November and December to educate others about the legal system.
“Our lawyers gave two days of free legal appointments to veterans in November and also scheduled appointments for people in need of legal information and education,” said Judge Barb Crowder, chair of the Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee. “The volunteer attorneys are an asset to this community.”
Attorneys continue to provide free appointments in the Legal Advice Center in the Madison County courthouse. 27 attorneys met with low-income individuals during the months of October, November and through mid-December to answer their legal questions free of charge.
Volunteers included Will Asa, Erin Beavers, Rob Bas, Beth Bauer, Brenda Baum, Michele Berkel, Amanda Bradley, Carol Cagle, George Filcoff Jr., Mary Albert Fritz, Christopher Hunter, Christine Kovach, Justin Mattea, Amy Meyer, Bryant Michael, Ian Murphy, Terry O’Leary, Erin Reilly, Jennifer Shaw, Kathy Smith, Frederick Steiger, Christopher Threlkeld, Suzanne Vogel, Michael Wesley, Joe Whyte, Mary Beth Williams and Audra Zobrist.
The Pro Bono Committee also provides free continuing legal education to attorneys doing volunteer work. The committee appreciates both the lawyers doing the pro bono work and the lawyers donating their time to train others. The attorneys hosted a free all-day seminar about the new family laws going into effect on Jan. 1. Attorneys Jennifer Shaw and Leslie Wood helped organize the seminar and were speakers on multiple topics. Associate Judge Maureern Schuette also helped with the planning and spoke about new child-related changes. Assistant State’s Attorney Tyler Wilke talked about the parentage act changes. Kristen Strieker from Sherer Law Office and Andrea Neubauer from Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation discussed parenting plans. Kathy Buckley, from Taliana, Buckley and Asa, spoke on removal and mediation in family cases. Derek Filcoff discussed temporary relief issues. Several young lawyers spoke on pro bono opportunities for young lawyers: Dustin Maguire, Bridget Buckley and Chelsea Hubbard participated in that panel.
The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee reminds Madison County residents that free legal appointments to low-income individuals who do not have attorneys are available by appointment on any legal subject except criminal law, including but not limited to subjects such as family law or areas such as debt collection, landlord tenant, small claims, or any other civil area of law. Those free appointments are held the second and fourth Tuesday of each month. Free real estate clinic appointments are the second and fourth Wednesday morning of each month and are handled by Recorder of Deeds Amy Meyer. No appointments will be held the fourth week of December because of holiday schedules. All appointments are for those of limited incomes who do not have attorneys and qualifying information will need to be provided.
To make an appointment or to volunteer, call (618) 296-5921 or email Pro Bono Coordinator Angela Wille at firstname.lastname@example.org.