Hello, LAWM friends! We've got a lot to cover this month. Learn about:
  • a client inspiring us with a smiley face
  • a powerful community partnership producing an expungement fair success
  • how we team up with West Michigan's public libraries
  • a new report (and short video) on the need for legal aid across the country
  • our three-minute video explaining Michigan's new expungement laws - Oscar contender? Maybe...
  • a summary of the impact we made in 2021 (with help from many of you!)
  • a cool job opening within our pro bono team!

Thanks for reading, please encourage just one friend to subscribe to our newsletter, and have a safe Memorial Day holiday.

Note from a Client...

“Patient, kind and helpful at the time I needed it the most. 😊”
It was the smiley face in our client’s thank-you message that really got us. One of our staff attorneys helped a senior who lives on a fixed income to firm up the details of her landlord’s rental agreement and secure rental assistance through the state’s COVID Emergency Rental Assistance (“CERA”) program. We made sure our client kept a roof over her head during the cold months while getting current on rent. That’s a good outcome for everybody.  

This client sent her message to us after we closed her case. She also sent us a donation. This always blows us away, and we want her to know that we are grateful for her kinds words, which give us the passion to keep helping people, and her donation, which gives us the power. Thank YOU!
Clean Slate Pathway Expungement Fair
Volunteers at work!
An army of volunteers--attorneys and community partners--made our Expungement Fair on May 7th a success. And thanks to our hosts at the NAACP and Center for Community Transformation in Grand Rapids!

Our team served 61 pre-registered and 36 walk-in clients. Altogether we'll try to expunge well over a 100 conviction records.

Learn more about our expungement work at CleanSlatePathway.org. And stay tuned for future fairs outside GR, including in Muskegon this summer.
Public Library Partnerships!
Libraries and legal aid are peas in a pod, and we're proud to work with library partners who help us reach and teach our client communities.
  • This spring we've partnered with the Muskegon Area District Library, teaching classes on end-of-life planning for seniors, home renters' rights and responsibilities, and taking advantage of tax credits. (Pictured: LAWM staff attorneys Tom Toft and Sarah Rocco. Not pictured: Managing Attorney Dolores Trese)
  • Our Holland Office staff are conducting monthly client intake meetings at the Herrick District Library. People must preregister to participate. Learn more and register for June, July, or August sessions.
  • The Kent District Library is producing a series of short "legal explainer" videos in which our attorneys offer plain-English answers to clients' frequently asked questions. Our first video, on expungement, is linked below in "Happening Now."
Happening Now
Americans who struggle to make ends meet don’t get the help they need for 9 in 10 of the civil legal problems they face.

Legal aid closes this “justice gap,” keeping families in their homes, helping domestic abuse survivors get safe, and ensuring seniors don’t fall prey to consumer scams. Watch this 2-minute video to learn more, or take a deeper dive into the full report here.
Here's Noah Joseph, LAWM's Pro Bono Supervising Attorney, explaining Michigan's expungement process in simple terms.

Thanks to our partners at Kent District Library for producing this video--the first of five "legal explainers" we'll make freely available in June.
Please share this summary of the impact we made in the lives of West Michigan’s lower-income families and seniors in 2021 (download it here):
We're Hiring!
We are looking for a lawyer who loves our mission and wants to recruit, train, and support volunteer lawyers from the private bar. We're hiring an Interim Pro Bono Supervising Attorney, who will spend 10-12 months, starting this summer, as a key member of our Grand Rapids-based pro bono team. Please check out the job description, and share this with anyone who may be interested. Applicants should submit materials by Monday, June 13, 2022.

Join us in making justice real for West Michiganders!
Every gift, whether of your time or money, changes lives.
Thank you!