The Advocate
March 2018
Our Donors are Heroes to low income individuals, vulnerable Veterans and elderly clients, statewide!
    Your Support to LSA helps:

  • Keep families safe from domestic violence
  • Prevent foreclosures & illegal evictions
  • Advocate for Veterans and the Elderly 
  • Protect the wages of working poor families
  • Empower citizens through community outreach & education
  • Restore Dignity to low income individuals and families 

Be a Hero! 
Change a life!
Become a Guardian of Justice today!  

Your donation means so much to the almost one million people living in poverty throughout Alabama. Over 90% of LSA's budget is spent directly on services to our clients!
Attorney Spotlight: Penny Slawkowski, Staff Attorney, Mobile Office
Why have you chosen to advocate on behalf of poor people? 
It keeps me grounded and grateful for what I have. There is so much need, [and] Alabama sadly, is never going to run out of poor people. Most of them are pleasant and grateful for the help. So many times when you ask how they are, the response is "blessed."

What is your most memorable experience (at LSA)? 
I have had three (3) out of the ordinary Landlord Tenant cases where LSA clients received titles to their house. One went to trial, one settled before mediation, and one settled on the day of trial. All three could have been bar exam questions. 

 What advice can you give attorneys thinking about joining LSA?
The work is fulfilling, but never ending. You need to be organized and you need to set boundaries. Use the ETO [Earned Time Off]. Our office handles a lot of cases, and we work well together.  

What do you like to do in your spare time?    
I like to play tennis and read fiction and non fiction books.

Penny Slawkowski joined LSA in September 2011. Slawkowski began her career with LSA as a volunteer lawyer before joining the staff full-time in 2011. With 10 years experience in civil litigation traffic and real estate, and also in mediation and family law in Chicago, Slawkowski's family relocated to Alabama in 2010. A graduate of DePaul University's College of Law (1990), Slawkowski currently serves as Staff Attorney (circuit rider) in the Mobile office.
 Client Success Stories:
Montgomery Office

Congratulations to Nannie Reed, Staff Attorney in the Montgomery Office, who helped to protect a disabled client's home!

Our client, who is an amputee, was living in a residence that had bed bugs, for which she was not responsible. In addition to rent, our client's landlord was requiring her to pay $500 plus late fees for the cost of eradicating the bed bugs. As a result, our client was facing eviction. Our Advocate worked with Social Services to negotiate that it pay all of our client's back rent, lawyers' fees, and court costs.

In the end, our Advocate got our client a clean slate, having about $1,100 worth of debt connected to our client's housing, erased!

Congratulations to our Montgomery office Advocates for helping to prevent homelessness for a disabled client!
Huntsville Office

Congratulations to Laurie McFalls, Staff Attorney in the Huntsville office, who negotiated a settlement without litigation!

Our client was denied unemployment benefits. She was having trouble making ends meet and got behind on her bills. Our Advocate represented our client in her appeal to Circuit Court. LSA settled for a partial disqualification of six (6) weeks. Our Advocate was able to talk with the lawyer for the state and get our client's case prioritized. As a result, our client was able to get her money before her rent was due again, and she was able to get caught up on her bills and avoid eviction!

Thank you to our Huntsville Office Advocates for helping a client obtain a new source of income and prevent homelessness!

Tuscaloosa Office

Congratulations to Ricky Chambless, Staff Attorney in the Tuscaloosa office, who stopped a wage garnishment!

Our client sought LSA's help after receiving notice that judgment creditor had filed a garnishment against her bank account. Our Advocate prepared and filed a Motion to Quash with a Declaration of Exemptions. A hearing was scheduled, and the court issued an Order to Quash Writs and refund the garnished funds to the client. The client had been garnished for $44,133.55.

Congratulations to our Tuscaloosa Office Advocates for preventing an exorbitant wage garnishment against a client!
Legal Services Alabama congratulates Mobile Office Staff Attorney
Sherri Thomas
for being selected as President of The Vernon Z. Crawford Bay Area Bar Association 2018!
LSA Hosts LSC training for Volunteer Lawyer Programs in Alabama

Representatives from Legal Services Corporation (LSC) visited LSA on March 23 to meet with LSA's Executive Team, Managing Attorneys, and the Volunteer Lawyers Programs. Legal Services Alabama Deputy Director Jaffe Pickett said LSA's Executive Leadership was grateful Guy Lescault invited LSC to come and have this critical discussion with our regional office managers and our VLP partners across the state, "We all have the same mission of ensuring access to justice to low income Alabamians and we are closer now to ensuring we work together to meet the great need."

Guy Lescault, LSA longterm interim Executive Director for LSA, speaks to LSA Managing Attorneys and Volunteer Lawyer Program Directors during a special visit from LSC.
From L-R: Guy Lescault, Mytrang Nguyen, Sandhya Kidd, and Mary Wyckoff of LSC.

Help Us Spring Up Hope for those in Need!

What does your donation to LSA do?
Your donation helps poor, elderly and disabled victims of abuse, consumer fraud, housing discrimination and other illegal actions that our clients face everyday. Over 90% of your contribution goes directly to client services.  

Who are our Donors?
Our donors are Heroes for the low income people we serve statewide. They are students, lawyers, law firms, faith based groups, businesses and corporations, who support our mission of improving lives across Alabama. They become  Guardians of Justice because they believe  poor and vulnerable people should have access to quality, free civil legal aid statewide!

"I am so thankful for the advice you gave over the phone ... please know the advice you gave me was enough for me to win my case! I could not let the opportunity pass without sharing my thanks with Legal Services Alabama! Please keep up the good work!"
-Client, Call Center

DONATE and become a Guardian of Justice today!

LSA is now offering free
civil legal services to Veterans
through our Mobile Regional Office!

Every 1st Thursday of the Month
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
104 St. Francis Street, Suite 700
Mobile, AL 36602
Baldwin, Choctaw, Clarke, Conecuh, Escambia,
Monroe, Washington and Mobile Counties

Services offered include:
  • Help with past IRS debt/Alabama state tax issues
  • Domestic Violence Divorces
  • Wage Garnishment
  • Foreclosure Prevention/Tenant Evictions
  • Public Benefits
  • Wills/Living Wills/Powers-of-Attorney

Upcoming Community Events

Predatory Lending Workshop
April 5, 2018
5:30 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Central High School Auditorium
Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

Marengo County Legal Clinic
April 10, 2018
8 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Marengo County Annex Building
Linden, AL 36748
  LSA provides free, civil legal services to Veterans in Central Alabama! 
Support LSA's Veteran Services partnership with the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System
LSA continues providing legal services to Veterans by providing on site services through a partnership with the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System. LSA is dedicated to providing holistic solutions to the root issues plaguing low-income and homeless Veterans. Perry Myer, Montgomery office Staff Attorney and Army veteran, and a Call Center intake specialist, will be available on Wednesdays at two VA locations to provide legal assistance to Veterans: 

* Montgomery VA Medical Center on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from
9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

* Tuskegee VA on the first, third, and fifth Wednesday of each month from 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.
The Advocate is published monthly by Communications & Community Development Coordinator, Desiree Taylor