The Advocate
February, 2018
Our Donors are Heroes to low income individuals, vulnerable Veterans, and elderly clients statewide!
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    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 nearly 1 Million people living below the poverty line. Over 90% of LSA's budget is spent directly on services to our clients!

From LSA Clients:

"I liked that my attorney was professional, knowledgeable, humble, and courteous to me while handling my legal problem.”
-Client, Birmingham Office

"The services were excellent! [The advocate] handled the case in a timely, professional manner, and was well equipped for my case."
-Client, Selma Office
Attorney Spotlight: Holly Ray, Managing Attorney, Huntsville Office
Why have you chosen to advocate on behalf of poor people? 
From the age of two, when I read the Velveteen Rabbit and got really upset at the injustice of the poor bunny rabbit doomed to be burned, I wanted to fix everything I perceived as unfair or wrong. I wanted to advocate for that darn bunny! I’m pretty sure my mom “lost” that book because I got so mad every time we reached that point in the story.
Growing up in a restaurant family, I saw incredibly hardworking, kind people thrust into poverty overnight by the decisions of landlords and abusive spouses. I decided I was going to do something to correct that, and being a legal aid lawyer gives me the best platform to help. I was blessed with a mouth that won’t shut up, and there’s really only one good way to use that talent – become a voice for the voiceless.
What is your most memorable experience (at LSA)? 
About two years ago, I represented a large group of neighbors that were sued by their homeowners association for nonpayment of dues. There were liens placed against their homes and nearly the entire subdivision faced foreclosure. There was one big problem: the HOA barely existed, it performed no functions, and one rogue neighbor decided to pursue this insane collection action that would have tanked the entire neighborhood’s property values and put dozens of families on the street. I litigated on behalf of the LSA-eligible families and ended up acting as de facto counsel for the unrepresented homeowners that didn’t qualify for our help. We won the case, and it’s really cool to say I saved a whole subdivision. Our clients now run the HOA board, and it actually does what it is supposed to do. 

What advice can you give attorneys thinking about joining LSA?
To quote Sturgill Simpson, “Ain’t no point getting out of bed if you ain’t living the dream.” If you would be happier doing literally anything else – go do it. You won’t have to go home at night worrying about whether your clients are homeless, hungry, or hurting while you make dinner and watch Netflix.

If, on the other hand, you have the ridiculous desire to make the world a better place and you wouldn’t be able to sleep at night if you didn’t spend your days clawing away at that goal, please join our team. The world is short on people that really care, and we need those that do in positions to make real change. I say all the time that I have the best job in the world, I really do mean it, and I really am living the dream. We’re always happy to find one more soul willing to join our Justice League.

What do you like to do in your spare time?  
I spend my spare time with my family. We are huge Star Wars fans – my sons are named after characters (Ben, 9 and Lucas, 4). My fiancé Geoff and I met twenty years ago because of our shared Star Wars fandom, and we’re excited to get married in a few weeks on the nerdiest day of the year - May the Fourth.

I also love to take ballet barre classes on my lunch break. Lawyers are notorious for our sedentary lifestyles, and I’m combatting that by finding my inner Beyonce a few times a week.

Last but not least, I enjoy seeing live music. We are spoiled being so close to Nashville, and I especially love seeing Jason Isbell any time his band comes close by. 


* Holly Ray joined LSA in August, 2008. Ray specializes in foreclosure prevention, eviction defense, and bankruptcy. As a member of the Alabama State Bar’s Pro Bono Committee, Ray regularly teaches classes around the state to attorneys, housing counselors, landlords, tenants, lenders and homeowners, on housing law and homelessness prevention. Ray began college at the age of 14 at Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, VA and earned her B.S. in Healthcare Administration from Auburn University (2003). She received her J.D. from Faulkner University's Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in 2007.
Longtime LSA Staff Attorney, wins big in Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

C ongratulations to Meteasa Henderson, Staff Attorney in the Huntsville office, who won a big Civil Appeals victory in February!
 
Dating back to 2013, Henderson represented a father in a complex juvenile court custody action where the mother of his children repeatedly ignored the parties’ visitation order, denying our client the ability to parent his children. Henderson successfully argued that the mother was in contempt, displaying willful, wanton, and ongoing defiance throughout the trial.

On Feb. 9, 2018, the Court of Civil Appeals ruled in favor of our client!

Henderson's client, who is thankful to be a part of his sons' lives again, had this to say:

"First and foremost, I would like to thank Attorney Meteasa Henderson and LSA for taking on my case, believing in me, and giving me a chance to be the man and father that I have always wanted to be," the client said. "It was a very stressful situation, but she was there for me, fighting hard for my boys and I. For that, I am extremely grateful!"     

Henderson is always willing to take on highly complex litigation at every stage of the process, and this result proves that her diligent preparation and tenacity pays off! Congratulations Meteasa! LSA is so proud of you!

 Client Success Stories:
Selma Office

Congratulations to Elizabeth Hollie, Staff Attorney in the Selma Office, who helped a student continue her education.

A mother of one of our clients came to LSA's Selma Office because she had reason to believe her daughter was being singled out by a teacher and mistreated. Our client maintained an A-B average, except in this particular teacher's class, and was kicked out of the class permanently due to personal problems between she and her teacher. As a result of this, our client missed a core class needed for promotion to the next grade level. Our Advocate arranged a meeting with the Superintendent of the city's Board of Education, Principal of the school, client's mother and the 504 Counselor and teachers who had contact with our client. After discussions, it was agreed that the teachers would work to help our client with the core class so that she could catch up. Additionally, the client's mother agreed to assist with homework. All parties sought to do what was in the best interest of our client to help in her education advancement! So far, there have been no further complaints from teachers or our client.

Congratulations to our Selma Office Advocates for helping to resolve an educational issue between our client and school system, placing the student on the road to success!
Dothan Office

Congratulations to Tracie Melvin, Managing Attorney in the Dothan Office, who negotiated a settlement without litigation!

Our Advocate was able to negotiate a $5,000 settlement from a Landlord who refused to accept rent from our client and wrote her an Eviction Notice/Notice to Move because her grandson, who is biracial, visited her for two weeks during the summer of 2017. LSA filed a HUD-Fair Housing complaint online, alleging discrimination in housing. Our client's Landlord quickly settled the case. Our client was able to get three (3) months of free lot rent, as well as movers, hookups, take down, setup plumbing and delivery of her trailer/delivery fees, per her Landlord! Additionally, she received a check for nearly $3,300!

Thank you to our Dothan Office Advocates for helping a client obtain monetary recovery and preventing homelessness!


Birmingham Office

Congratulations to Barbara Luckett, Lead Attorney in the Birmingham Office, who was able to help our client get decent housing!

Our client, who is disabled, had her tenant lease for subsidized housing terminated due to failing to pay for damages to her and other tenants' units. Our Advocate was able to challenge the charges, calculate damage, and request a hearing with the housing manager. The Manager did not hold charges against our client's account, and she was able to relocate to a more suitable subsidized housing complex!

Thank you to our Birmingham Office Advocates who helped to preserve housing for someone in need!
Legal Services Alabama provides critical legal services and vital community education throughout Alabama in core areas that impact low income people including:
  • Consumer Protection
  • Housing
  • Domestic Violence
  • Public Benefits
  • Low Income Tax Clinic
  • Elder Rights
  • Veterans Rights
  • Disaster Aid
  • Education Services
  • Community Re-entry

Support LSA's mission of providing high quality legal services to low income people statewide! Federal Employees may donate using


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!

For more information on becoming a Guardian of Justice please visit our website:

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*Upcoming Community Events
Voter Rights Restoration Clinic
Feb. 24/ 10 AM - 12 PM
403 West Powell Street
Dothan, AL 36303

Project Homeless Connect
Feb. 24/8 AM - 3 PM
Boutwell Memorial Auditorium
1930 Reverand Abraham Woods Jr., Blvd.
Birmingham, AL 35203

Will & Probate Workshop
Feb. 26/2 PM
545 Cody Road North
Mobile, AL 36608

For more information, visit us online: www.legalservicesalabama.org
or call 1-866-456-4995
  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 offering 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 Reserve 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 LSA
Communications & Community Development Coordinator, Desiree Taylor