ABA leadership participates in April 15 Free Legal Answers event

American Bar Association President Patricia Lee Refo and other ABA leaders will join the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice as volunteers on Thursday, April 15 for the virtual legal advice clinic ABA Free Legal Answers, which gives income-eligible users the ability to pose civil legal questions to volunteer attorneys.

"I am honored to join with all of the ABA officers and other ABA leaders volunteering for Free Legal Answers," said Refo. "Helping people in need is what lawyers do.

"Thousands of attorneys have given their time to this program to answer questions on civil legal matters for people who would not otherwise have access to legal advice. We all look forward to providing this valuable assistance."

The effort is part of the section's 2021 Spring Council Meeting. Refo will volunteer with Pauline Weaver, secretary of the ABA; Kevin Shepherd, ABA treasurer; Barbara Howard, chair of the ABA House of Delegates; Reginald Turner, ABA president-elect; Bob Carlson, former ABA president; Angela Scott, chair of the Section of Civil Rights and Social Justice; and other section leadership.

Geared to expand legal services for low-income communities, users of the free advice service must meet income eligibility guidelines applicable to each state.

While expanding access to legal services, ABA Free Legal Answers also expands pro bono opportunities for attorneys in a convenient way to match their schedules.

Legal guidance is limited to non-criminal matters and takes place entirely online.

Questions often are pandemic-based or relate to family and children's legal matters, housing and homelessness, or consumer and finance.

Free Legal Answers began in 2016 with a single website in Tennessee and has since expanded to 39 states and territories. To date, it has received more than 154,000 inquiries and more than 9,100 lawyers have volunteered to answer questions.


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