The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) awarded the One Place Family Justice Center (OPFJC) and Legal Services Alabama (LSA) with a Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) grant in June 2017, to assist the organizations with expanding domestic violence services. ADECA is administering the grant from funds made available to the state by the U.S. Department of Justice.
LSA welcomes Indianapolis native Lisa Overton to its Legal team in the Birmingham Office.
Please enjoy the October 2017 edition of our monthly donor newsletter: The Advocate!
According to statistics from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV), 1-in-3 women and 1-in-4 men are victims of domestic violence, demonstrating the need for awareness and advocacy. At LSA, we are offering hope to victims of Domestic Violence each and every day.
The Barbara McDowell and Gerald S. Hartman Foundation recently awarded Legal Services Alabama with a $25,000 grant to assist low-income individuals whose government food stamps were wrongfully discontinued in the past two years.
It is through your generous support that Legal Services Alabama provides help and hope to low-income families throughout the State!
Legal Services Alabama recently welcomed back Birmingham native Dru Clark, as its newest Staff Attorney to the Mobile office on Monday, Sept. 18. Clark, a graduate of Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, is employed under the City of Mobile's "Leaving a Legacy" project, which provides wills, free of charge, to those who qualify.
The City of Mobile is introducing a will program to reduce blight and revitalize neighborhoods. Facilitated by Legal Services Alabama (LSA), the "Leaving a Legacy" program will provide wills, free of charge, to those who qualify.
On the very first day of my second LSA career, my Managing Attorney asked me to look at a file for a client trying to save his home. My manager was deeply concerned that this was a case where we could not help the client, since his previous bankruptcy case had been dismissed. This put me to work instantly.
This case is the result of years of litigation, including an amici curiae brief filed in 2017 by two Legal Services Alabama Attorneys Joseph Abrams, and Michael Forton, Director of Advocacy. In our brief, LSA argued the legal, economic and social justifications of preserving homeowners’ rights, and requiring mortgage companies to strictly comply with their own rules.
LSA is very proud of Laurie, and we are so excited for the work she had done and will continue to do. Way to go Laurie, and keep it up!
Guarding Justice for Alabama's Poor
Legal Services Alabama welcomed Miami native Valynda Jerome-Williams, the newest Staff Attorney to its Montgomery office, on Aug. 21.
Legal Services Alabama welcomed Hilaire (pronounced the same as Hillary) Armstrong, as the newest Staff Attorney in the Montgomery office on Monday, August 14. A native of Hoover, Alabama, Hilaire obtained both a bachelor’s degree in Political Science/Spanish from Samford University in 2012, and is a 2016 joint Brock Business School MBA/Cumberland School of Law graduate.
Homeownership is The American Dream, and for many people, that dream comes along with a membership in their neighborhood’s homeowners’ association. But for one group of Madison County residents, HOA membership nearly meant losing their dream, and their home, until Legal Services Alabama intervened.
On July 31, LSA added two new lawyers to our team, Rae Bolton in Birmingham and Peyton Faulk in Montgomery.
Our July 2017 Advocate of the Month is Stephen Last. It takes digging, thorough research, and bargaining skills to get there, and Stephen's good work this month reminds us that our cases are making a difference in people's lives. We join all of Stephen’s clients in thanking him for his commitment and hard work on their behalf!
LSA filed a federal lawsuit against the Housing Authority alleging that depriving our client of her benefits on the basis of an indictment alone, violates the constitutional right to due process, as well as federal housing regulations.
The Advocate: Please enjoy this month's edition of The Advocate. In it you will find LSA's client success stories, community outreach events and more!
More than 40 formerly incarcerated individuals received legal advice or assistance in restoring their voting rights during LSA’s first week of Voter Rights Restoration Clinics held in the Black Belt, Birmingham and Mobile. The clinics began in Greensboro and Birmingham on July 18 and 19, and in Mobile on Saturday, July 22.
Terrika Shaw, a Staff Attorney in LSA’s Birmingham office, and Laurie McFalls, a Staff Attorney with LSA’s Huntsville Office, were recently tapped as co-chairs of LSA’s Education Task Force. They will spearhead LSA’s efforts to offer legal advocacy on behalf of low income students facing obstacles to a quality education.
About a year ago, LSA Montgomery Staff Attorney Stephen Last's client found himself with a legal problem he never saw coming. The frustrating turn of events marked a genuine unfairness with the way his client's case proceeded.
Journalist Tracie McMillan shares her firsthand experience with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and the confrontation with her own assumptions about poverty, in this op-ed piece from The New York Times.
More than 100 people from across the state gathered at the Historic Brown Chapel in Selma, Ala., July 8 to get informed about Alabama’s new law regarding voting rights. Sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Alabama and Legal Services Alabama, the Voting Rights Restoration Training attracted students, community leaders, dignitaries, state officials and lawyers who wanted to learn more about the crimes of moral turpitude statute and how it effects ex-offenders regarding the voting process.
It is rare to go to federal court to challenge a housing authority decision. But that is exactly what we did, on the theory that the decision to revoke a voucher solely because of a judgment in a state court, violated federal housing regulations and standards of due process.
Legal Services Alabama Executive Director Artur Davis and Communications and Development Associate for ACLU of Alabama Rebecca Seung-Bickley, spoke about a joint effort on WSFA’s Alabama Live broadcast yesterday, concerning the upcoming Voting Rights Restoration Training. Many low-income individuals who have "served their time and paid their debt to society," may now be eligible to vote. The video will tell you where and when the training will be held.
Alabama is the 6th poorest state with 30 to 40% of the population in some counties living below the poverty line.
LSA's low income clients may benefit from new credit reporting improvements.
Congratulations to Terrika Shaw, Staff Attorney in our Birmingham office, who is LSA’s Advocate of the Month for June 2017. LSA is proud of the skill and dedication of our winning advocate this month.
“Pay your rent or else,” may be a matter-of-fact rule for landlords and their tenants. But for Holly Ray, Managing Attorney for LSA’s Huntsville office, there are no excuses for providing a dangerous place to live or violating the protections afforded to tenants under Alabama law.
The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs recently awarded The One Place Family Justice Center, Legal Services Alabama, and The Family Sunshine Center with a VOCA grant award, more than $124,000 of which will be awarded to LSA for increased domestic violence services.
While the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (far better known as food stamps) continues to generate political controversy, those of us at LSA know that there is no such thing as a stereotypical person on food stamps ...
Legal Services Alabama needs more support to continue its mission of serving poor and vulnerable people statewide. It is through the generous financial support of our donors, that enables Legal Services Alabama to continue providing high-quality legal assistance to low-income individuals and families throughout the State.
We said goodbye to our long time Executive Director Jimmy Fry, who graciously announced his retirement at the beginning of the year. We wished Jimmy the best in his well-deserved retirement. The Board undertook the task of looking forward to envision the full time civil legal assistance organization that will be needed in Alabama today and for the future; and sought new leadership to meet that need. - LeVeeda Battle, President, LSA Board of Directors
Ivan Dollar, Legal Services Corporation's Equal Justice Rural Fellow recipient, is a second year law student at Birmingham's Cumberland School of Law. A summer intern with LSA's Selma Office, Dollar is helping rural Alabamians get access to justice.
LSA is looking for two attorneys to join our family. The Montgomery office has two openings - a general practice attorney and a domestic violence attorney. If you are an attorney and you would like to join us in our mission to help our low income residents resolve legal issues, click on the link below to read how to apply.
Check out LSA's very own Christopher McCary, as he speaks to WBRC FOX 6 News' On Your Side investigative reporter Lydia Hu!
A new Alabama law signed in May will allow thousands of people to restore their right to vote, and on July 8, LSA and ACLU of Alabama will host a training session at Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church to train volunteer lawyers and non-lawyers about this new law, and how Alabamians can comply with its terms to win back their rights to vote.
LSA has created an Opportunity and Empowerment Task Force to assist low-income Alabamians who are eligible for free legal aid, with complying with the process for getting restored to the voting rolls.
It is because of your generous financial support, Legal Services Alabama continues to provide help and hope to low-income families throughout the State! Read up on the latest work being done and find out how you can help.
Our May 2017 Advocate of the Month is Pamela Jackson. Pam has worked in the Huntsville Office since June of 2009 and serves as the office’s Lead Attorney. Pam has a well-deserved reputation as one of LSA’s hardest working and most accomplished attorneys, and in May she demonstrated the difference a lawyer can make in the life of a low income person.
May is Mental Health Month. Legal Services Alabama (LSA) prioritizes free legal services to Seniors and educates them on their legal rights. Before Dementia or other mental health issues set-in, it’s important to have estate planning documents such as wills, Powers-of-Attorney, Living Wills and end-of-life wishes already detailed and documented, to avoid problems that may arise in the event of mental incapacity.
Legal Services Alabama welcomed two new employees, Gary Gilmore and Mary Aplin, to its Central Office staff in May. Gilmore serves as the new Chief Financial Officer, while Aplin takes on the role of LSA’s Grant Manager.
Veterans from across the River Region turned out for the first Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System (CAVHCS)/Legal Services Alabama free legal clinic held May 24. Veterans received legal advice and services in several areas, including foreclosures and eviction, consumer protection, and wage garnishment.
Veterans in need of some legal guidance can now turn to a free clinic at Central Alabama VA hospitals.
What does it mean for a legal aid organization to do high impact work? LSA Executive Director Artur Davis addressed that question during a meeting of LSA’s High Impact Litigation Unit held May 16.
Perry Myer, Staff Attorney in LSA's Montgomery office, is passionate about veterans. Having served in the U.S. Army Reserve, he understands the many challenges that veterans often face. In partnership with the Department of Veterans Affairs, LSA will hold a free civil legal clinic for low-income veterans of Central Alabama, Wednesday, May 24.
The Montgomery Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., recently partnered with Legal Services Alabama, the James W. Wright Leadership Development Institute, and the Office of the Secretary of State for an Expungement and Voter Rights Restoration Clinic held Saturday, May 13 in downtown Montgomery.
Legal Services Alabama Executive Director Artur Davis and Ian Reed with the Central Alabama Veterans Healthcare System sit down with Tonya Terry of WSFA to discuss the joint event focused on helping veterans with civil legal issues.
On Friday, May 12, LSA won the kind of victory that makes us remember why our work is vitally needed. The Alabama Constitution has guaranteed the working poor that basic security for over a century, but for two years, LSA has been fighting adverse rulings that called this important right into question.
Our clients and working poor people all over this state are thankful for the brilliance and tenacity of our own Farah Majid, Staff Attorney in our Huntsville office. It is because of her work, our clients have more security to feed their families tonight. The same goes for every low-income working person in Alabama, including those that never walk through LSA’s doors.
LSA's Barbara Luckett recently shared do's and dont's concerning housing during a Fair Housing and Landlord-Tenant workshop held May 6 for Birmingham residents. Sponsored by Legal Services Alabama's Birmingham Office and the Jefferson County Housing Authority, the seminar addressed tenants' most pressing concerns.
According to recent research from Forbes magazine, more than 5.5 million U.S. homes have faced foreclosure since 2008. Legal Services Alabama is offering hope and help to low-income individuals and families who are facing the same fate.
LSA welcomes Jonathan Barry-Blocker as the newest staff attorney to its Birmingham Office. Barry-Blocker, who began May 3, is a graduate of Morehouse College in Atlanta, and the University of Florida’s Fredric G. Levin College of Law.
Death is a tough subject for many; For James Rich, LSA's Elder Law Staff Attorney in Anniston, preparing for this fact-of-life is essential. Rich shares just how important it is for seniors to plan ahead.
Haley Box's April is an illustration of what it means to be a successful LSA lawyer; the range of her good work also demonstrates the breadth of services offered by LSA for Alabamians who need help. Congratulations to Haley for her work in April and for her emergence as one of our best young lawyers.
Linda A. Klein, president of the American Bar and Rebekah Keith McKinney, a partner with Watson McKinney LLC in Huntsville, speak on the importance of keeping Legal Services Corporation (LSC) and legal services providers in the state of Alabama.
Legal Services Alabama held an orientation for new lawyers on Tuesday, April 25. Attorneys learned about the various departments of LSA as well as employee information.
As seniors age, they may find it difficult to have someone care for them, or speak on their behalf in the event they cannot speak or do for themselves. LSA Montgomery Staff Attorney Leigh Haynie wants to help make the transition for aging adults a little bit easier.
By the time she had come to us for help, she had already been through a great deal. I am continually impressed with my client’s strength to leave an abusive situation and thrive.
Davis, along with LSA attorneys Andriette Rowell, Stephen H. Last and Nannie Reed, led a panel discussion and Q&A highlighting public interest work and the services LSA provides to Alabama’s poor population. The discussion on April 11 addressed the crisis of poverty in Alabama, and the need for more funding to support LSA’s efforts in helping those who cannot afford legal aid.
According to a recent AL.com article, larger charitable organizations do not assist Southern nonprofits at the same scale as other proportionate outreaches across the country
Legal Services Alabama is pleased to announce its appointment of Felecia Pettway of Wilcox County as the new Managing Attorney for its Selma Office. Pettway, who assumed her position on April 3, will lead LSA’s efforts in providing free civil legal aid to low-income individuals and families who cannot afford legal representation in the Black Belt.
Payday lending practices have become a serious concern for Alabamians. State officials hope to shed some light
The Advocate of the Month for March has been announced. Click here to read about Farah Majid's work for her clients.
Congratulations, Farah. We are proud to have you on our team and we look forward to seeing your future accomplishments.
The stakes for this grandmother were high: if she lost, she would not only have lost her home but been ineligible to live in any other public housing development. For a low income person, that can mean homelessness.
LSA can help if you are a victim of a “scam”: usually, a scheme to target low income people by offering quick fixes to their money and legal problems, fixes that would actually end up leaving them worse off. LSA can also offer advice and counsel on whether those offers in the mail that tend to pop up right after you are denied credit or a loan, or are sued for unpaid bills, are in your best interest.
As we examine areas where LSA can do more, we have identified school bullying as a threat to educational access and our offices will be prepared to represent the interests of children who are victims. As the Department of Education officially reminded schools in 2010, a broad range of bullying behavior creates obligations for public schools to take action.
Attorney Tyler Brannon recently assisted a client after a seemingly good deal to purchase a home went sour. Facing eviction, she turned to LSA for help.
Tax Season is upon us. Tim Kingston and Maceo Kirkland from LSA's Low Income Tax Clinic have some tips that may help you.
When a mortgage company tries to conduct a foreclosure, should it have to follow the actual terms contained in the mortgage agreement?
Executive Director Artur Davis makes the case for the need of legal service programs
Leaders of more than 150 U.S. law firms with offices in all 50 states sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget Thursday, urging it to continue funding the Legal Services Corp.
Legal Services Alabama with assistance from Faulkner Law is hosting a free clinic to provide assistance to community members in creating important emergency-planning legal documents on Friday, March 3rd.
Congratulations, Sherri Thomas. Thank you for all your hard work for you clients.
In celebration of the 52nd Anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery march, Legal Services Alabama will host a legal counsel session on Expungements. Legal Services Alabama will inform you of procedures to clear your criminal record if you are eligible based on Alabama Expungement Law.
LSA's Tyler Brannon helps a client who was the sole provider for his family from a garnishment that took away a quarter of his paycheck. The garnishment was causing hardships for his family, including the inability to make their monthly rent payment. See the article on page 9 in the February edition of the Alabama State Bar's monthly publication, Addendum..
Can a housing authority evict a tenant for wrongdoing that she didn’t even know about? Is it lawful to punish a tenant for the actions of people who enter her property without her permission or invitation?
LSA made a difference for a young woman who still needs all the help she can get.
We hear so much about how a lack of a driver’s license can cost individuals their right to vote. I saw firsthand in this case how a lack of a license can be a bar to working.
Nannie Reed started with LSA in early January 2017. "My short time here at LSA has given me the confidence to know that I can make a difference."
Click to read the January 30th edition of the official publication of the Montgomery Rotary Club that contains the article covering Artur Davis's talk about LSA's work.
After completing her courses, my client found out very quickly that what sounded like a fair deal quickly turned sour.
Executive Director Artur Davis sits down to discuss Legal Services Alabama's mission: To serve low-income people by providing civil legal aid and by promoting collaboration to find solutions to problems of poverty.
When the building that once housed Legal Services Alabama on Church Street burned down years ago, a lot of people forgot the nonprofit law firm was still in Selma. But newly named executive director Artur Davis is hoping to change that perception by making people more aware of what LSA does and who they help.
We at Legal Services of Alabama are saddened by the passing of former Governor Albert Brewer. As a public servant who lifted up people who were left behind in Alabama, Albert Brewer epitomized LSA’s values and we mourn his loss.
Imagine having a paid for car, with no car note. Then you wake up to find that your vehicle has still somehow been repossessed.
. Score a victory for one ordinary Alabamian over one of our most powerful companies.
Thank you for providing HELP and HOPE to the poor throughout Alabama! Your generous donations have made a huge difference for poor families across Alabama. Read about our latest work to help those in need.
Meet Michael Forton, our Director of Advocacy. “What I really love is the things we do are changing the future,” Forton said. “I honestly believe the work we do is making the state, the country and even the world a better place.”
Legal Services Alabama (LSA) announced today the selection of Former Congressman Artur G. Davis as its new Executive Director.
Legal Services Alabama (LSA) announced today that its longtime Executive Director Jimmy Fry has decided to retire. His retirement will bring to a close a remarkable career of public service in Alabama.
Holly Ray, managing attorney for our Huntsville office, offers advice to tenants struggling with a dispute with their landlord. While withholding rent sounds like leverage, Alabama law doesn't agree.
On September 21, 2016, Tim Kingston, the LITC attorney in the LSA Mobile office, provided information about Legal Services Alabama's Taxpayer clinic to help those with low income face tax disputes. Watch the video to hear how to get help.
Thank you for providing HELP and HOPE to the poor throughout Alabama! Your generous donations have made a huge difference for poor families across Alabama. Read about our latest work to help those in need.
Legal Services Alabama (LSA) is conducting a nationwide search for its next Executive Director.
IRS Warns Taxpayers of Summer Surge in Automated Phone Scam Calls; Requests for Fake Tax Payments Using iTunes Gift Cards
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