November 17, 2015

Volunteer Attorneys

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  1. Family Justice Center.  This is a free walk in clinic (no appointment is necessary) for people with divorce, custody or family law related issues. Recently services have been added to include advice on immigration and housing. On the first Tuesday of each month an attorney is available to advise senior citizens on issues common to the elderly.

    The concept behind FJC is to provide a “one stop show” where clients can access services and information from: Community Action, the Division of Child and Family Services, Victim Advocates, Department of Workforce Services, Centro Hispano, Housing, Timpanogos Legal Center, and other agencies. The greatest demand is for legal advice

    Every Tuesday evening from 5:00-8:00 p.m. , Unless Tuesday falls on a holiday. There is no clinic during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

    Where: The Health and Justice Building located at 151 S. University Ave. in Provo.

  2. Doc Clinic – We help self-represented clients by drafting the court documents for you. Once you pass our screening process, we will set up a virtual clinic meeting with an attorney. The meeting will be virtual, similar to a FaceTime or Skype interview. You can call-in if you do not have a camera on your phone or computer or if you do not have internet access.
  3. DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTER CLINICS – The purpose of the clinic:  When a person has been abused and needs to leave the home, there are so many imminent concerns and problems.  TLC staff attorneys and volunteers go to the shelter to educate clients on:
    • victim’s rights,

    • the different types of court systems (criminal, divorce, protective order, juvenile court) because they might be involved in multiple courts and the differences are confusing,

    • the divorce process and the standards used to decide on custody and how to protect the children,

    • how to access the Victim Notification system (VINE) if she wants to be notified before the perpetrator is released from jail,

    • how to get money from the Crime Victims Reparation fund to pay for therapy or new locks on the doors or other covered expenses,

    • referrals to other victim services,

    • referrals to legal programs that might take the case,

    • safety planning, particularly when they must attend the same court proceeding.

    How we set up the clinics:  TLC staff are assigned certain Judicial Districts in Utah.  The staff member contacts the shelter/s in the area to learn about their needs.  The shelters we have contacted so far have been thrilled. In some busy shelters, like South Jordan Sanctuary we conduct monthly shelter clinics.  In the more rural areas where the shelters don’t have as many clients, we can provide the same service through the use of Zoom. We will set up the clinics based on the need of the shelter.  Clients do not need to be living at the shelter to participate in the clinic. Shelters are advertising to their groups. We expect our numbers to increase dramatically in the next year.

    Why the clinics are critical to victims:  The goal is to answer all of the client’s questions and help them understand their options and to have clarity on the next two or three steps that they should take right away.  Victims are often told things like, “If you ever leave me, you will never see the kids again.” They often believe the threats. It is important to educate the clients about what really happens in court and how to prepare.