Pop-up legal clinic offers free legal advice

Published 9:55 am Tuesday, October 24, 2023

The Troup County Law Library took a big step to ensure local residents receive justice, even if they cannot afford it.

On Friday, the Goodwill Career Center in LaGrange hosted a free legal clinic with the help of Troup County Law Library, local attorneys and the University of Georgia School of Law.

Troup County Court Service Director Lindsay Mobley organized the event to allow residents to receive the legal help they need so that they have an equal opportunity for justice.

The attorneys were available to provide free guidance in all areas of the law, but they were primarily there for advice on civil cases. The state already provides legal counsel to those who cannot afford it for criminal matters. 

Advice was available on a wide variety of general civil law issues, including family law issues like divorce, legitimation and child support as well as juvenile law, probate court, landlord/tenant disputes, personal injury and disability claims, records restriction and expungement. 

Attorneys were also there to discuss veterans and public benefits, as well as military discharge issues.

A total of 19 people received legal advice during the three-hour event.

Mobley said the idea for the law clinic was spurred by the Troup County Law Library Board, which wanted to come up with some way to grant access to justice to all citizens.

“After some research, I discovered that UGA School of Law does these pop-up clinics around Athens and the Atlanta area frequently. So I went and visited one, loved what I saw and decided to do one here,” Mobley said.

Speaking with attendees as they left the clinic, they got the help they needed or got started, said Mobley.

“They mostly have gotten some help. At least at the very least, they have direction on what to do next. Some of them are leaving with their issue fully resolved,” Mobley said. “I think it’s been a complete success.”

Local attorneys Kendryck Johnson, Melissa Sams, Matt Alford, Joe Casper, KR Martin, Drew Case, Brian Aplin, Molly Sutter, along with UGA School of Law attorneys Elizabeth Grant, Alex Scherr, Christine Scartz and students John Omotunde and Thomas Crabb participated in the event.

Mobley said they would like to continue doing the free law clinics in the future, at least once per year. 

“We might try to do it on Saturday, so it’s more accessible to people who are working during the workweek,” she said.

Organizers note that the attorneys at the clinic were only available for brief legal help and do not represent the people they spoke to during the event.

UGA School of Law’s participation in the event was funded in part thanks to a gift from the Callaway Foundation.

For more information about representation for low-income individuals in civil cases, contact the Georgia Legal Services Program at 1-833-457-7529 or www.glsp.org.