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Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Fall 2014

Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program Pro Bono Answering the Call to Service New Faces To Assist Volunteer Attorneys at Help Desks and with pro bono representation cases Attorneys volunteering at one of the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program’s (BBVLP) three weekly Help Desks or those representing pro bono clients will see some new faces assisting them. Heather Bussey, a graduate of Appalachian School of Law with ten years of domestic relations legal experience, is the new staff attorney/domestic relations for the BBVLP. Katrina D. Brown, a graduate of the Birmingham School of Law with one year of legal experience, is the new staff attorney/ civil issues for the BBVLP. Why did you want to work for the BBVLP? Heather Bussey: It’s important to me that those people who cannot afford an attorney can access justice. The only way these clients can get relief to life-changing problems is if an attorney helps them. I want to help our volunteer attorneys make a difference. Katrina Brown: For me, it is an honor to be an attorney, and to help people who otherwise could not afford representation is a blessing. I believe that most attorneys have a heart that desires to give back to the community. The BBVLP gives attorneys an easy way to remember why they went to law school in the first place. What are your plans for making volunteering with the BBVLP easier? Heather Bussey: The goal for me is Katrina D. Brown Heather Bussey to make attorney representation and the Help Desk run more efficiently so that we are successful in everything we do. In 2015, attorneys can look forward to new training opportunities as well as updated forms from the court to help them get clients through the system without delay. I am also excited to encourage more attorneys to volunteer. Once you try it, I think you will keep coming back. Katrina Brown: My goal is to make the volunteering experience fun and the process easier. The BBVLP takes care of all of the administrative work which allows attorneys to do what they do best: provide effective legal assistance. We want to put our volunteer attorneys in positions to be successful whether it is providing court forms to a client or representing that client from start to finish. To contact Heather Bussey or Katrina Brown, please call the BBVLP at (205) 250- 5198 or email hbussey@vlpbirmingham.org or kbrown@vlpbirmingham.org. Also, you can contact Nancy Yarbrough, Executive Director, at the same number or at nyarbrough@ vlpbirmingham.org. Volunteering is easy at the BBVLP: ►► Work two hours or less at one of the BBVLP’s weekly Help Desks on Mondays and Thursday from 8 a.m. to noon at District Court or on Wednesday from 8 a.m. to noon at Domestic Relations Court. ►► Accept a pro bono case and work with eligible BBVLP clients to solve a legal problem. ►► Become a mentor and provide quick advice to a new attorney. NOTE: The BBVLP appreciates our volunteer attorneys and works hard to ensure only income-eligible clients are accepted into the program. BBVLP clients are at 125% of the poverty level, which is less than $14,000 for a family of one. G Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2014 35


Birmingham Bar Association Bulletin - Fall 2014
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