25
November
2019
|
05:37 PM
America/Chicago

YLS Council members help answer legal questions through Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org clinic

Summary

More than a dozen members of The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section (YLS) Council participated Friday, Nov. 22, in a hands-on clinic where they learned how to virtually volunteer to answer low-income Missouri citizens legal questions through Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org.

Nov 2019 YLS Council volunteers

More than a dozen members of The Missouri Bar Young Lawyers’ Section (YLS) Council participated Friday, Nov. 22, in a hands-on clinic where they learned how to virtually volunteer to answer low-income Missouri citizens legal questions through Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org.

Members of the YLS Council donate their time in conjunction with each scheduled council meeting to perform a community service project. The project they chose for the fall meeting was to learn about Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org and provide pro bono legal advice using this service to those needing basic legal advice in civil matters.

Brett Rolwes, legal and community services coordinator with The Missouri Bar, explained how the online system was developed, and how council members could register and assist individuals with legal questions. Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org connects volunteer Missouri lawyers to low-income Missourians via a virtual legal clinic. Qualifying users post their question to the website, then volunteer lawyers authorized to provide pro bono assistance in their state log in to the website, select questions to answer, and provide the needed legal advice.

Although the workshop took place in Jefferson City, additional council members were able to participate remotely from their homes or offices all over Missouri. Of 40 pending requests for assistance in the system, the YLS Council worked in teams during Friday’s session to answer questions from 18 individuals.

Jose Caldera, YLS council chair, said Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org is a great too for council members to continue to use to build on the group’s on-going commitment to providing pro bono and community service.

"Lawyers play important roles in our communities. We are the profession our neighbors turn to when they are most in need.,” Caldera said. “It may seem like a small act but taking 10 minutes to address someone's legal concerns can greatly impact their lives. I firmly believe we must help as many people as we can in every way we can for as long as we can.”

All licensed Missouri lawyers can volunteer through the program which provides an opportunity to perform pro bono work in a way which best fits the volunteer’s life. Lawyers who wish to learn more or participate may go to Missouri.FreeLegalAnswers.org and click on “Volunteer Attorney Registration” to get started.