July 19, 2022
VLB in the Community
VLB staff, joined by Judge Martha Reeves Cook, recently addressed seniors at Woodlawn High School about navigating civil laws that affect everyday life. (L-R: VLB Executive Director Graham Hewitt, Judge Martha Reeves Cook, VLB Woodlawn Coordinator Jonathan Moore, and a Woodlawn student.) Photo courtesy of the Birmingham City Council.
When Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham (VLB) recently had the opportunity to address Woodlawn High School seniors—students entering a new phase of life with all the possibilities and potential stumbling blocks of adulthood—it represented an expanded mission for VLB: providing vital information to the community about the civil laws that most affect their lives.
Judge Martha Reeves Cook spoke to students about common legal issues like eviction.
The Hon. Martha Reeves Cook, a Jefferson County district court judge, joined VLB to address the students personally. "I had the honor of speaking with Woodlawn High School seniors, on the cusp of adulthood, about the importance of seeking legal advice before entering into important legal transactions such as renting an apartment, purchasing a car, or signing up for a credit card," she says. "While this phase of life can be exciting and brings new independence, it can also contain legal pitfalls. I encouraged the students to use legal resources, such as the excellent lawyers at Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham, for advice before signing important legal documents.”
(L-R) VLB Staff Attorney Lisa Singer, intern Kourtni Douglas (Cumberland), and VLB Managing Attorney Twala Wallace spoke at a recent jobs fair about the expungement process for those with a legal record that's become an obstacle to employment.
The Woodlawn High School event was just one of many ways VLB is engaging with the community to make people aware of our services and how we can help address civil legal problems before they get more serious. Better still, VLB is bolstering its efforts to educate the community about preventing civil legal problems in the first place. These efforts include presenting information at job fairs, resource fairs, and other community events where we can help spread valuable information. 

“VLB is always looking for new and innovative ways to deliver services to our community,” says VLB Executive Director Graham Hewitt. “Our goal with our Community Education program is to provide preventative care to the low-income community to supplement our existing programs. If we can get education to our neighbors on common legal issues affecting our community, we can help people avoid situations where they will end up in court.” 
VLB Woodlawn Coordinator Jonathan Moore shared information about our services at a recent Resource Fair hosted by the Birmingham Public Library and The Dannon Project.
VLB plans to hold and participate in more community events like these in the future. If your organization would like to have VLB flyers or staff available at your event, please contact us at 205.250.5198. 

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Volunteer Lawyers Birmingham | www.vlbham.org