BMD and Community Legal Aid 2nd Annual Free Neighborhood Law Clinic - March 23, 2019News Article
The law firm, Brennan, Manna and Diamond LLC (“BMD”), is again teaming up with Community Legal Aid to host a free legal clinic.
Last year’s event, held in April 2018, attracted roughly 75 residents to Mason Community Learning Center in Akron’s Middlebury neighborhood, where volunteer attorneys from BMD sat with attendees and offered free legal advice on any issue was a great success.
The demand for Legal Aid services continues to grow and the need for quality legal counsel is great. BMD understands and appreciates the challenges faced by Legal Aid and proudly stands ready to volunteer and help meet the legal needs of those in the community, said attorney Michael Steel, who helped plan the event.
“Our goal was essentially to adopt a neighborhood. We wanted to help a local community in need near our downtown Akron offices, so our attorneys could feel a close connection to the difference they were making by listening, solving and empowering people’s lives,” explained Steel, a partner at Brennan, Manna & Diamond, who co-chairs BMD’s Pro-Bono Committee with Duriya Dhinojwala.
“We wanted an Akron area location, but we don’t want to limit it just to families at that school or its neighborhood because we have a deep commitment to the greater Akron area and strong ties to the community,” said Dhinojwala, a partner at BMD and a board member of Legal Aid’s Board of Trustees, who also helped to plan the clinic scheduled for March 23, 2019. “Eight to ten BMD attorneys including myself will be available to sit down with anyone who needs to talk to an attorney and anyone who cannot afford a lawyer should feel welcome to attend.”
As a full-service law firm based in Akron, Ohio, BMD is committed to the importance of professional responsibility of giving back. The partnership between BMD and Community Legal Aid is a new approach which should increase the outreach and accessibility of those seeking legal counsel.
The result: a free Neighborhood Law Clinic in the Middlebury neighborhood.
“Having an attorney to talk to can help ease people’s minds,” said Steven McGarrity, Esq., Executive Director Community Legal Aid. “It’s important to just have someone to work through your problem with, and who can help you navigate the system.”
McGarrity said that partnered projects like this are making an impact for Akron residents.
“The real value behind this joint project is that we have so many more people who come to us for help than we have the actual resources to be able to take on,” he said. “But with BMD bringing their attorneys, we can help more people together.”
Although the event will be held at Mason, any low-income Summit County resident is welcome to attend. Those interested can register by calling Legal Aid’s HelpLine at (800) 998-9454 and asking to register for the Neighborhood Law Clinic. Walk-ins will also be welcome, but Legal Aid encourages people to call ahead and register.
Those attending will have a chance to sit down with an attorney and talk about any civil legal issue they may be facing, including:
- Creditors’ Rights
- Custody and visitation
- Employment issues
- Expungement and criminal record sealing
- Foreclosures and evictions
- Housing conditions
- Name changes
- Powers of attorney
- Protection orders
- Special education
- Wills and estate planning
Attorneys will not be able to help with criminal or traffic charges.
Anyone seeking more information about the event can find more information online at www.communitylegalaid.org/events or by calling Legal Aid’s HelpLine (800) 998-9454.