A free legal clinic organized by the Alaska Bar Association is expected to draw hundreds of people to the Mountain View Community Center next week.
Held annually in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the clinic offers legal advice on civil issues ranging from housing disputes to family affairs to questions about public benefits.
This year’s event is set to take place Jan. 16 from 12 – 5:30 p.m.
The Mountain View clinic is one of three around the state. Approximately 100 lawyers volunteer to answer questions throughout the day, and about 300 people usually come through the Mountain View site, said Krista Scully, pro bono director at the Alaska Bar Association. After a brief intake session, clients are matched with a volunteer attorney who can answer questions about a variety of civil matters.
“Sometimes we have people arrive who think they have a legal issue, but it really isn’t,” she said. “And one of the things lawyers are really good at is navigating systems. So we have people sit down and make phone calls or send emails on behalf of people.”
There’s also a virtual law clinic: Clients who meet income requirements can sign up and receive free advice on up to three civil legal questions over the next twelve months.
“We try to do as much as possible, and then be of service throughout the year,” Scully said.