Pro Bono Legal Advice Clinics and Workshops
In an effort to help more residents who cannot afford an attorney solve their civil legal problems, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF) hosts ongoing free Legal Advice Clinics and Workshops throughout the year. The attorneys who facilitate Clinics and Workshops have volunteered to work for free as part of CLSMF’s Volunteer Lawyer Project.
For complete details and to see a full list of Legal Advice Clinics and Workshops visit the calendar page.
Legal Advice Clinics
Eligible clients have the opportunity to receive free legal advice from an experienced civil private practice attorney at no cost, otherwise known as Pro Bono, by attending a Legal Advice Clinic.
Eligibility is based on income and other factors and is determined through the completion of an intake either by a Helpline or Pro Bono specialist or through completion of an online application form. Once eligibility has been met, clients can be scheduled to attend a Legal Advice Clinic where they will meet one-on-one with a pro bono attorney to receive free legal advice pertaining to their particular case.
Attorneys will only provide legal advice during a Clinic, but may in certain circumstances take cases for full representation. A legal advice consultation with the attorney may last anywhere from half an hour to over an hour, depending on the particular legal issue. Most times, the legal advice received during the one-on-one attorney consultation is enough to empower the client to handle their legal issue successfully.
Legal Advice Clinics are primarily held at CLSMF branch offices. Some clinics are held at other locations such as the courthouse or an attorney’s office. In order to accommodate the varying schedules of clients, some Clinics are held during afternoon or evening hours. For a complete list of Legal Advice Clinics including time, location and other pertinent details see the calendar page.
Below are some of the most common Legal Advice Clinics that CLSMF offers.
General Legal Advice Clinics
CLSMF hosts ongoing general free Legal Advice Clinics throughout our 12 county service area. Income-qualifying individuals with civil legal issues including but not limited to consumer, Family Law, public benefits, landlord/tenant issues or housing and foreclosure can meet with an experienced attorney at one of these Clinics to receive free legal advice specific to their case.
All attendees are encouraged to bring with them any papers related to their legal matter, any court paper work that has been received or filed, a list of questions to ask attorneys regarding the legal matter and a Resident Alien Card if not a U.S. citizen.
Bankruptcy Legal Advice Clinic
Bankruptcy Legal Advice clinics are held at various locations throughout the month. Clients receive a one-on-one legal consultation with an experienced Bankruptcy attorney where they receive an in-depth analysis of their overall financial situation. Once attorney analyzes situation, clients are either advised to file for Chapter 7 or 13 Bankruptcy. In certain cases attorneys will advise clients to not file for bankruptcy. Each case is evaluated individually.
Consumer Legal Advice Clinics
Consumer Legal Advice Clinics provide an opportunity for clients to meet with a pro bono attorney to receive free legal advice concerning consumer issues such as debtor harassment and responding to collections lawsuits, and contracts/warranties. Please note that these Clinics do not address bankruptcy issues. Clinics are held throughout the service area on a monthly basis.
Family Law Legal Advice Clinics
During Family Law Legal Advice Clinics clients will be able to meet with an attorney to receive legal advice regarding Family Law issues such as dissolution of marriage, custody/visitation, modification of child support. These clinics are hosted at various service area locations throughout the month.
Juvenile Expunction Clinic
CLSMF in partnership with Marion County Teen Court and University of Florida Levin College of Law Gator Team Child Juvenile Law Clinic provides free legal advice and assistance to individuals who wish to complete an application for expunction of their juvenile record.
Too often juveniles receive incorrect information regarding the offenses they commit as a minor and as such do not take the actions they need to remove these harmful offenses from their records. Juvenile records can impede youth from receiving financial aid for higher education programs, entering the armed forces or even obtaining meaningful employment. Expunging juvenile records can open doors to a brighter future.
During these clinics, participants who have completed a juvenile diversion program in the last 12 months will be able to meet one-on-one with an attorney to receive free legal advice and assistance completing the application for expunction. Juveniles 21 and under seeking to have criminal records sealed will also have the opportunity to meet with an attorney at the Clinic.
Pro Bono Workshops are conducted in group settings. A pro bono attorney will meet with a group on a particular topic, such as dissolution of marriage, and instruct them all at once on the process for completing the necessary documents and forms.
Pro Se Divorce Workshop
Pro Se is a Latin phrase meaning “for oneself” or “on one’s own behalf.” CLSMF Pro Se Divorce Clinics are offered to eligible clients to assist them in preparing the initial Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and other required forms so they can file their divorce papers themselves. The entire process can take anywhere from 2 to 4 hours.
Community Legal Education
In addition to Legal Advice Clinics, CLSMF hosts a variety of free community legal education sessions where a specific legal topic is presented by a pro bono attorney followed by a generic question and answer session. Interested participants can sign up for a free education session without having to income-qualify for free legal services.
During these sessions, all attorney presentations and Q&A sessions are general discussions only and individualized advice is not given. If attendees would like to meet with a pro bono attorney to receive legal advice specific to their situation, they will need to indicate this on the sign-in sheet upon arrival and an intake will need to be completed to establish eligibility for services.
For more details on community legal education sessions such as topics covered, time, location and contact information see the calendar page. Space is available on a first come basis.
Ormond Beach Quarterly Workshops
CLSMF partners with the City of Ormond Beach to offer free quarterly workshops to interested individuals. Workshop topics will change each quarter so check the calendar for more information.