Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox, P.C., attorney Lauran Stimac recently appeared on cityCurrent radio to discuss Memphis Area Legal Services (MALS) and how their efforts directly impact the general population in Memphis as well as the lawyers who choose to volunteer their time, energy, and professional expertise to the community organization that offers free legal assistance to Memphians.
Attorneys from Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox, PC, have volunteered their time and expertise to provide legal guidance to individuals through Memphis Area Legal Services on an ongoing basis for several years. MALS has offered free legal assistance in civil matters to eligible members of the Mid-South community for more than fifty years. Through a combination of staff attorneys and volunteers, such as those from the Firm, MALS helps individuals and low-income families in western Tennessee counties of Shelby, Fayette, Tipton, and Lauderdale that are facing critical, sometimes life-threatening, situations such as:
- Domestic violence
- Mortgage foreclosure, eviction or homelessness
- Wrongful denial of health care, food stamps, unemployment compensation and other assistance
- Consumer fraud or predatory lending
- Special challenges of children and the elderly
Through a partnership with the Memphis Bar Association, MALS offers a number of free legal clinics each month in locations throughout the city. Typically, a couple of law firms will sponsor each day of clinics and commit to bringing five to ten volunteer attorneys. The clinics provide a means for those in need to receive much-needed legal services, plus the attorneys who participate also have the opportunity to network with other lawyers in the Memphis community and learn about other legal issues they might not encounter on a regular basis. The clinics are open and free to all eligible members of the Mid-South community. Appointments are not necessary and no one in need is turned away.
Glassman, Wyatt, Tuttle & Cox, PC, attorney Lauran Stimac, a board member for Memphis Area Legal Services, is passionate about the organization and the services it provides to the community, as well as the rewards realized by those who volunteer.
“The issues that we see at the legal clinics run the gamut,” says Stimac. “You get absolutely everything you can think of, and more. It’s a great opportunity to help someone who really needs assistance and doesn’t know where else to turn. The people who come into the clinics are in need of legal advice and often times they are searching for life advice as well. As professionals whose line of work directly affects the lives of others, attorneys have valuable insight that they can share, whether it be instruction on how to get a particular benefit, where to start on a particular process, or something else. The advice that they give is always very much appreciated and can sometimes make a life-changing impact on another member of our community. It’s extremely rewarding and we always encourage attorneys to come to the pro bono clinics even if we’re not going to do the type of work that they normally see. You don’t have to be a specialist in any particular type of law to participate and volunteer a couple of hours on a Saturday.”
MALS is funded by a combination of federal and state grants, as well as donations from individuals and businesses. The organization’s largest annual fundraiser is the popular Justice for All Ball, taking place this year on October 28 at the newly renovated Ballet Memphis. The primary goal of the event is to increase awareness of MALS and the many different outreach programs they provide to individuals who may benefit from their services, but also to potential volunteers and supporters. The super-hero themed, black tie optional event features food, entertainment, silent and live auctions and a night full of fun. More than 300 people attended the inaugural event in 2016 and tickets for this year’s event go on sale in August. For more information about the event, including sponsorship opportunities, visit the Justice for All Ball website at http://www.justiceforallball.org/
To listen to the entire cityCurrent interview with Lauran Stimac, visit the cityCurrent website by clicking HERE
To learn more about Memphis Area Legal Services, visit the Memphis Area Legal Services website – http://www.malsi.org/.
For details about the Justice for All Ball, go to www.justiceforallball.org.