Free legal course offered in exchange for pro bono work

Updated: Mar. 29, 2019 at 5:08 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, TX (TNN) - An area nonprofit is making it easier for local attorneys to give back to the community.

Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas and The Pro Bono Committee of the Family Law Section of the State Bar of Texas saved time and money for many local attorneys on Friday by offering the continuing legal education course for free at the Wichita Falls Country Club.

“The benefit of this, for the attorneys is that rather than having to go to some far off city they can now do it here in our hometown,” said John Grieger, the managing attorney for Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas.

CLE is an annual requirement for attorneys and most of the time it’s not free. While Friday’s class didn’t cost them a dime, it will require their time.

“The people who attend here today [Friday] agree to take two pro bono cases from legal aid,” said Bill Marple, the director of Pro Bono and Bar Relations for Legal Aid of Northwest Texas. “They are going to represent people that are below the poverty level.”

They will do it for free. This is something Kathleen Brown, an attorney in Wichita Falls has done before and is very passionate about.

"I have taken on several pro bono cases," said Brown. "One was where the mother was being sued for child support but she had no visitation."

Brown said the mother was a First Step client.

"We actually have a pretty good relationship with them. They've helped a lot of our clients," said Kimberly Callahan, the Legal and child advocate and family case manager for the First Step.

Callahan said she is excited about more attorneys teaming up with Legal Aid of Northwest Texas because she has seen first hand how pro bono cases make a difference.

"Referring them to Legal Aid helps because they don't really have a lot of money and they are not able to afford outside attorneys and stuff, so going to legal aid is an easier option for them as well as economically," said Callahan.

Attorneys who attended the event got to hear from lawyers across the state of Texas and judges.

If you’re in need of services by Legal Aid of NorthWest Texas, you’re asked to call their office at 940-723-5542 or you can call their Legal Aid Line-Toll Free: 1-888-529-5277.

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