February 15, 2019
Project Homeless Connect is tomorrow!
Project Homeless Connect is tomorrow at Boutwell Audtiorium. Volunteers report at 7:30 a.m. for the first shift and 10:30 a.m. for the second shift.

Training is today at 11:30 a.m.  at the Birmingham Bar Center in the CLE room on the second floor. 

We have 50 attorney volunteers that will be providing assistance to over 250 clients. 
We also want to say a special thank you to Judge Sparks and the entire City of Birmingham Municipal Court team as well as Judge Wallace , Judge Carpenter, and Judge Ross from Jefferson County for volunteering. The judges will be hearing clients' cases at PHC.
Tell your story!
VLB has been chosen by StoryCorps to tell the stories of the work our volunteers do in the community. We need you and your client to join us in letting the world know your story. VLB has four slots available – please e-mail Graham Hewitt ( ghewitt@vlbham.org ) if you have a great story you’d like to share. These slots will go fast!
StoryCorps is partnering with WBHM to tell stories from the Birmingham community now through March 13th. All participants will receive a recording of the conversation for personal use and it will also be preserved in the Library of Congress. VLB is honored to have this opportunity and is proud to highlight the work of our volunteers. Please click here for more information about StoryCorps.
Open cases

Please help a father who desperately desires to have consistent visitation with his 3-year-old son. The mother of the son will not allow him to see his child consistently absent a court order from family court. His case has never gone before the judge as it has been continued multiple times. He desires to make an impact on his child’s emotional and social development by creating a bond that only a father and son can share.  I can help!
Case Eligibility
  • Steps have been taken to file a modified petition to establish visitation and request a hearing date
  • Paternity has been established and he is the legal father.

VLB Added Value
  • Connection to attorney mentor experienced in family law
  • Advice on how to proceed

Please help a mother gain legal physical custody and child support of her 11-year-old daughter who has been living with her since 2017. The daughter has been diagnosed as a special needs child. Mom was awarded joint legal custody of the minor child in the original divorce.  I can help!
Case Eligibility
  • Steps need to be taken to modify the original divorce decree
  • Clients needs assistance establishing child support for the life of the minor child
VLB Added Value
  • Connection to attorney mentor experienced in family law
  • Advice on how to proceed

Help Desks
Thanks so much to our wonderful student and attorney volunteers who helped us with 5 successful help desks and one successful court docket last week. The first week of the month is always the busiest here at VLB, and we couldn’t have done it without you.
L-R Kayla Cleveland, Honza Prchal, Amber Whillock & Paul Sparkman at the Civil Help Desk

Samuel Ford (Fuston Petway French)
Louis Mendez (Bressler)
Honza Prchal (Heninger)
Lacy Triplett (Bressler)
Amber Whillock (Starnes)
Sarah Yates (Bressler)

Kayla Cleveland (Student at Cumberland School of Law)
Paul Sparkman (Student at Cumberland School of Law)
L-R Mrs. Flowers (Hayes Principal), Jarred Battery, Katie Grayson, Dan Murphy, Shaina Hamby, & Xavier Nelson at the Woodlawn Help Desk's new location at Hayes Middle school

Jared Battery (Bradley)
Katie Grayson (Encompass) 
Dan Murphy (Bradley) 
Ian Green helps his client at Domestic Relations

Jeremy Crowley (JC Law Firm)
Ian Green
Melinda Guillaume
Beth Howland (Bressler)
Susan McAlister
John Milledge
Laura Pizzitola (Bressler)
Katie Wilson (Bressler)
L-R Bill Rose & Danielle Roberts at the Homeless Help Desk

Jesse Blount (Butler Snow)
Rusty Irby (Butler Snow)
Danielle Roberts (Butler Snow)
Bill Rose (Butler Snow)
L-R John Milledge, Judge Blockton & CH Brantley at the Domestic Relations Pro Se Docket

CH Brantley
Joseph Callaway (Boyd Fernambucq)
Margaret Casey (Key Greer Harrison & Casey)
Susan McAlister
John Milledge
Volunteer at Domestic Relations & other opportunities
L-R Lacy Tripplett, Laura Pizzitola & Christine Boardman (Bressler) at the Domestic Relations Help Desk
Attorneys are often hesitant to volunteer at the Domestic Relations Help Desk because it isn’t an area of law that many are familiar with. But with the resources VLB provides, we try to guarantee that volunteering at the Domestic Relations Help Desk is something all attorneys from all practice areas can do. 

Recent Domestic Relations volunteer Beth Howland , a labor and employment attorney, said she enjoys the DR Help Desk because “working at the Domestic Relations Help Desk lets me connect with people in a personal, face-to-face way.
As attorneys, it is important that we make time to build relationships with individuals in our community. At the end of the day, this service benefits the clients, but it also enriches my life.” Katie Wilson , a securities attorney, shared a similar sentiment, saying, “I enjoy volunteering at the Domestic Relations Help Desk because it allows me to use my legal skills to work with people who otherwise would not have access to an attorney.”

The dedication of these and all attorney volunteers in stepping outside their comfort zone has played a key role in helping clients receive the vital assistance they need. These outstanding volunteer attorneys and many others work with our staff to bring hope, dignity, and justice to low-income families who have nowhere else to turn. 

Click here to volunteer at Domestic Relations on February 27th or the Domestic Relations Self-Represented Docket on March 8th . We also still have a few slots available at the Civil Help Desk and Turning Point Docket at the end of the month! Click here to sign-up now.
Consumer Corner
Judge Henry Callaway
This article by Judge Henry Callaway , the chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge for the Southern District of Alabama, explains why so many low-income clients are unable to obtain bankruptcies and turn over fresh leafs on their lives.

Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham understands how debilitating it can be for one of our low-income neighbors to be unable to get relief in the form of a bankruptcy. Many of our clients are in this situation because they could not afford medical bills. This is why we have a special Bankruptcy program.
If you know of a low-income person needing a chapter 7 bankruptcy, please have them contact us. If you are an attorney and want to help, please let us know so you can volunteer. Our next Bankruptcy Help Desk March 1st, 9-11 a.m . Please click here to volunteer.
In the news
Read how Maryland’s Chief Justice is leading their state’s effort to help more people afford legal counsel to better represent themselves in civil legal matters. Alabama is one of a handful of states that provide no state funding to civil legal aid.
Remember to follow VLB on Facebook and Twitter and visit our Facebook page to see all the Help Desk happenings and news about civil legal aid. 
Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham | www.vlpbirmingham.org