Good legal advice is hard to come by, and can be nearly impossible without an income. Because of this, the University of Utah has put into practice what is referred to as their, “Pro Bono Initiative.”
The initiative sponsors clinics that are held on a monthly basis, with the purpose of aiding those without the means to afford legal representation in areas such as family law, bankruptcy, & immigration. At these clinics, U of U law student and attorney volunteers are present to offer brief legal advice to individuals with low incomes.
While attending The U of U’s pro bono Immigration clinic, I had the privilege of speaking with Joshua, one of the clinic’s volunteers.
Joshua is currently a 3rd year law student at the University of Utah, and has been in charge of running the immigration clinic for the past year and a half. In his youth, he lived in Europe, and served an LDS mission in England later on. While residing in Europe, he was able to see many refugees who were in need of immigration assistance. He empathized with these people’s unfortunate circumstances, and that empathy carried on into his study of law. When asked why he chose immigration law, he responded he liked to see the difference he could make in people’s lives.
Another volunteer I met was Skyler, an attorney in Salt Lake City. A former Nevada resident, Skyler moved to Utah to obtain a Law Degree from the U of U. He is fluent in Spanish, and uses the language almost daily while dealing with immigration cases at his place of employment. He got involved with immigration law and the immigration clinic because he enjoys the opportunity it gives him to help others.
Also volunteering at the clinic, was Kareema Mitchell, an immigration attorney at Schmidt Law Firm. Kareema got involved in the Pro bono initiative as a way of “giving back” to the community. She commented, “It was nice to see people obtaining the help they need. These clinics are a great resource.”
The attorney’s at the clinics do not solicit clientele, and the clinics are not intended to create attorney-client relationships. Because of this, they are willing to provide a list of potential attorney’s who may be of further assistance to the clinic’s participants. For more information on attending immigration, or other free legal clinics the initiative offers, visit http://www.law.utah.edu.
Immigration Law Free Clinic
Areas of Law: Immigration, citizenship, documentation status, deportation, visa, etc
When: 1st TUESDAY of every month
Time: 5 pm – 7 pm
Location: Horizonte School in the cafeteria
1234 South Main Street in Salt Lake City