• By Jason Alston
  • Posted Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ask a Lawyer For Free Day at Central

Join us for “Ask a Lawyer Day” at Central Library. This is your opportunity to speak to actual practicing attorneys and obtain legal advice free of charge. No appointment is necessary and people of all walks of life are welcome to come and speak to the attorneys present. Your lingering law questions need not go unanswered any longer.

Members of the Forsyth County Young Lawyers Association will be at Central Library on Saturday, February 5th, to field legal questions from the public free of charge. The event is part of a statewide “Ask a Lawyer Day” initiative sponsored by the Young Lawyers Division of the North Carolina Bar Association.

There will be local attorneys specializing in various areas of law fielding questions during the event, according to R. Scott Adams, speaking on behalf of the Forsyth County Young Lawyers Association. Attendees are therefore welcome to come with questions related to all aspects of law, including criminal cases, worker’s compensation, automobile accidents, eviction, consumer issues, family law, divorce, and wills. Those in attendance will be able to meet one-on-one with an attorney and have a discussion about a legal issue.

Adams said a consultation with an attorney, especially one regarding criminal matters, may cost $125-$300 per hour depending on the attorney and details of the case; therefore, attending the event may potentially save someone a significant consultation fee. Adams maintains that retaining a lawyer isn’t necessary with every troubling situation, so programs like the local “Ask a Lawyer” program may help attendees determine if they truly need to retain a lawyer’s services.

“When they have the opportunity to have a free lawyer who is offering (these) services, it’s a good opportunity to see what you can do (legally),” Adams said.

Adams said it is good to seek legal advice specifically from lawyers (versus family, friends and people in other professions), in part because the law is always changing.

“There are certain things that people can figure out that are easier than other areas,” Adams said about law. An ejection by a landlord, for instance, may be a legal process that people are able to figure out and handle on their own. However, other things such as divorce and serious criminal matters can be more complex, and seeking legal advice from an attorney may be helpful, “Because you’re going to be able to get help navigating the complicated channels that are out there.”

Adams said people not educated and trained in practicing law won’t necessarily give you an incorrect answer to a legal question, but they also may not give you the best answer.

In addition to the February 5th program, Adams said the North Carolina Bar Association will sponsor a call in for free legal advice on March 4th. Adams said resources available at the library such as the bar associations “This is the Law” pamphlet series, as well as a few websites such as nccourts.org and findlaw.com can give people some helpful information regarding statutes and court proceedings. There will also be some helpful legal literature distributed at the “Ask a Lawyer” program.

The “Ask a Lawyer” program is expected to begin at 9:30 am and lasts until 2:00 pm in the Central branch auditorium. There are no income restrictions related to participating in this program, and there will be no actual time restrictions as to how long an attendee may speak with a lawyer; attendees are asked, however, to be considerate of others waiting in line to speak to an attorney. Appointments are not necessary and patrons will be seen on a walk-in basis. Adams said similar events may be organized in the future, depending on need and demand.

For more information, contact Jason Alston with the Forsyth County Public Library at 336-703-3026.

Central Library Auditorium
Saturday, February 5th
9:30 am to 2:00 pm

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