April 29, 2016 

The BBVLP participated in a program by the American Bar Association Commission on Homelessness & Poverty to identify and promote best practices for eliminating legal and justice system-related policies, practices, and procedures that unfairly perpetuate or worsen the harmful effects of poverty. The ABA commission is traveling across the country to meet with attorneys and came to Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma in Alabama to gather information. Pictured left to right: Rutledge Simmons, NeighborhoodWorks, Steve Rygiel, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Nancy Yarbrough, Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program, Cassandra Adams, Cumberland Law School Community Mediation Center & Public Interest Project, Ted Small, ABA Commission on Homelessness & Poverty, Judge Vanzetta Penn McPherson, Kristina Scott, Alabama Possible, and Craig Baab, Alabama Appleseed.   

Hamilton Bromhead, Co-Founder and Director of Furnish Tuscaloosa, is a Senior majoring in Management Information Systems.
Rachel Beverly, Co-Founder and Deployment Executive, is a Junior majoring  in Accounting.

1. U of A student wants to incorporate "Furnish Tuscaloosa" nonprofit 
Students moving apartments or graduating often throw away quality furniture that low-income families would be happy to receive. One University of Alabama student noticed this and started "Furnish Tuscaloosa," which uses volunteers to collect students' gently used furniture and deliver it to Tuscaloosa non-profits to donate to their clients. He needs help incorporating. (16-0005786)

2. SECOND TIME IN EBRIEF: Help this woman see her children

This client, who is living with her parents and trying to become financially independent, is worried her 15- and 11-year-old children will grow up without knowing her. The client's ex-husband refuses to let her see the children in violation of the divorce decree and needs help filing a contempt petition to assist this client. (16-0005675)  

3. Please volunteer for an uncontested divorce

The couple has been separated for two years because they have wanted to divorce but could not afford an attorney to help them with the paperwork. The wife is the client and the couple have agreed on child support, custody, and visitation for their children, a 10- and 8-year-old. The wife is employed at a cleaners in Gardendale but makes less a $1,000 a month. The husband is a mechanic and also makes less than $1,000 a month. The client has been to the Help Desk several times and has an approved Affidavit of Substantial Hardship, so filing fees are waived. (16-0005415)

Monday & Thursday Mornings

Moses Stone, Stone Law Firm, meets with a client at the Civil Help Desk.
Wednesday Mornings

April Bauder, Merril Law Firm, and  Rebecca Wadley , YWCA, talk to a women at the Domestic Relations Help Desk. The YWCA continues to help the BBVLP meet the needs of domestic violence victims including arranging for Rebecca to come to the Help Desk to meet with victims in need of domestic violence services including counseling, shelter, and police action. 

Homeless Shelter Help Desk
Tuesday Mornings

Jim McLaughlin, Maynard Cooper, helps a client at the Firehouse Shelter Help Desk.

Tarackia Phillips-Barge

Obtained a divorce for a couple who could not afford representation.
Yashiba Blanchard, Esq.,  Glenn-Blanchard Property

Helped a client with bankruptcy issues.
Tarackia Phillips-Barge
April Bauder, Merrill Law Firm
Amy Blankenship, Southern Company
Jennifer Buettner, Southern Company
Melinda Guillaume
James Illston
Kendra Johnson
Priscilla Kelley
Jim McLaughlin,  Maynard Cooper & Gale

John Milledge
Shenavia Murphy, Southern Company
Bill Prosch
Tereza Sampaio
Leonard J. Smith, Southern Company

Jessica Catlin,  Cumberland School of Law
Barbara Saurer,  University of Alabama
Maibeth Jernigan Porter, Maynard Cooper
Moses Stone , Stone Law Firm
Birmingham Bar leaders and attorneys take part in reentry simulation

U.S. Attorney  Joyce Vance and Birmingham Bar Association President  Bob MacKenzie take part in a reentry simulation in Birmingham this week as part of National Reentry Week. Nationally, nearly 7 million people are incarcerated and 95 percent of them will eventually return to communities across America. Alabama has the nation's fourth highest per capita incarceration rate, with nearly 100,000 Alabamians in prison or on community supervision. Read Joyce Vance's opinion piece about why it is imperative that we ensure people returning from prison are afforded the opportunity to lead productive lives. 
Thank you BBA Family Law Section

The BBA Family Law Section, led by attorney  John Bodie , committed this week to having 100 percent participation in a service project to volunteer at the BBVLP Domestic Relations Help Desk. The BBVLP challenges all BBA sections to take a month to volunteer at a Help Desk. In previous years, the Worker's Comp Section, Bankruptcy Section, Federal Section, and Solo Section have all volunteered.

Bressler Attorney Preston Martin featured in Alabama State Bar publication

Preston Martin, of Bressler Amery Ross, was featured in this Alabama State Bar newsletter for successfully winning a BBVLP client's case while volunteering at the Civil Help Desk. Bressler attorneys volunteer weekly at BBVLP Help Desks and are often first to accept full pro bono cases from the BBVLP.

Donations from the community are the number one funding source for the Volunteer Lawyer Program. Click here to donate.
There are two ways attorneys can choose to help with the Volunteer Lawyer Program. Click here for what you can do.