In 1974, the KCBA Young Lawyers Division opened its first Neighborhood Legal Clinic in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, which was designed to give people 30-minute consultations with an attorney.
Since then the Neighborhood Legal Clinic Program has grown to nearly 40 clinics throughout King County, staffed by hundreds of volunteer attorneys who assist more than 8,000 people each year. On October 24, the YLD will celebrate the opening of its new Walk-In Clinic, a lunchtime volunteer opportunity conveniently located in the King County Courthouse in downtown Seattle. The clinic has been operating since September 5.
The YLD Walk-In Clinic is a collaborative effort between the YLD, the Public Law Library of King County and KCBA's Pro Bono Services. Librarians at the Law Library receive numerous questions from pro se litigants attempting to navigate the King County Courthouse. The librarians' ability to answer these questions is limited, as they do not want to be perceived as dispensing legal advice.
"It would be great if there were lawyers on staff to answer these questions," commented Director Rita Dermody. Though budget constraints prevent the creation of a staff attorney position, the YLD answered by developing this weekly Walk-In Clinic.
Just like KCBA's Neighborhood Legal Clinics, the YLD Walk-In Clinic gives people an opportunity to meet with an attorney for 30 minutes regarding their pending civil legal matters. Instead of appointments, however, these sessions are provided on a purely first-come, first-served basis each Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Law student volunteers conduct client intake and are invited to shadow client sessions.
"The Walk-In Clinic is a great opportunity for King County attorneys, especially those in the YLD," offered YLD Chair David Keenan. "Not only does the clinic help serve the substantial needs of pro se litigants, it also provides mentoring and professional development opportunities for lawyers at all levels."
All are welcome to attend the YLD Walk-In Clinic's opening celebration on Wednesday, October 24 at 11 a.m. at the Law Library. Light refreshments will be provided. The event coincides with the ABA's Pro Bono Week. Please RSVP with Rita Dermody at firstname.lastname@example.org by October 19.
If you are interested in volunteering with the Walk-In Clinic, please contact Skylee Robinson at email@example.com.
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