Law firm holds first free legal clinic in Jemison

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Blankenship Harrelson, LLP, held its first free legal clinic with guest attorney Dagmar Rick on Sunday, Aug.14 at the Jemison Municipal Complex.

Rick gave an hour-long presentation on current immigration issues, after which five attorneys offered one-on-one legal counsel to attendees for the remaining two hours.

Greg Harrelson, a partner at the firm, said the turnout was OK considering it was the first clinic, and the focus topic was immigration.

“I think one of our fears (was) maybe people who have immigration problems might be hesitant to show up, but they came in and kept coming in,” Harrelson said.

The free legal clinics are something the firm plans to do quarterly, he said. The idea for the clinics came from a handful of frequently asked questions from clients.

James Fancher, an associate attorney at Blankenship Harrelson, organized Sunday’s clinic.

Jemison Mayor Eddie Reed gave the firm permission to use the city’s municipal complex for the clinic, free of charge.

Harrelson said the firm’s primary goal for the clinics is to answer questions and address legal issues affecting the average person.

Potential topics include, but are not limited to, immigration, law enforcement, property ownership, healthcare and workman’s compensation.

“We expect it to give people a better understanding of the law as it pertains to the subject matter,” Harrelson said. “We, as lawyers, have to stay on top of the field. The law is always changing.”

Although he is unsure about the focus topic for the next clinic, Harrelson said the firm’s goal is to keep the clinics on Sunday afternoons, especially with football season quickly approaching.

“We are gearing it toward a time people are likely to show up,” Harrelson said. “We’re just trying to help people.”