Another service organization (along with HOPE Kitchen) that I am chairing is Legal Aid. This is its purpose statement:
Legal Aid is a great opportunity for students who have any interest in the law, career in the legal profession, or just want to help out in the community. Legal Aid participants volunteer their time at the Southeastern Ohio Legal Services (SEOLS) in Newark, Ohio and gain valuable legal experience. SEOLS gives legal help without attorney fees to people with low income and limited savings and assets.
Volunteers have the opportunity to work together with three attorneys and a paralegal on cases ranging in subject matter including: family, health, disability, employment, and property law. The attorneys always have work they need help with, and are enthusiastic about our partnership. Volunteers work with the attorneys to guide their tasks, which range from legal research and office work to courthouse errands and client interviews. One must commit to weekly participation so that the lawyers can plan for your presence. Volunteers can gain valuable experience working with lawyers who are dedicated to helping those that would otherwise be unrepresented in court.
I started volunteering for Legal Aid since October 2013 as well. The chair during that time was Madison Mackay, a political science major. She seemed quite knowledgeable about legal things, since she would want to go to law school. However, one thing I noticed is that she often seems frustrated whenever the office is out of work for us or when a volunteer arrives late. I took the chair position in the spring semester, and brought more volunteers compared to previous occasions. We had Julia, Sam Lee, Morgan on Tuesdays; Alfonso, Madison, Nathaniel on Thursdays; and me along with Cheyenne Evans on Fridays.
Overall, this group is low-key, as volunteers commit 2 hours every week; nevertheless, there are lots of times when there are just no work left for us (especially on Fridays). Because of that, we couldn’t really go volunteer during the last month of school year. I hope I can improve this next semester and make DCA Legal Aid more active.