Wake libraries, Legal Support Center bring free family law support to Garner Saturday

Wake County Public Libraries and the Wake County Legal Support Center are bringing their Lawyers in Your Library program to Southeast Regional Library in Garner on Saturday, June 8. This is the second installment of this series, which provides free family law legal support and advice to residents who need it at locations across the county.

Lawyers in Your Library is an expansion of the Legal Support Center’s “Attorney of the Day” program, which assisted nearly 150 families with family law issues, such as custody, child support and divorce, at the Wake County Courthouse in 2023. The collaboration with Wake County Public Libraries is an effort to make the program more accessible to people who may not be able to head to downtown Raleigh during the week.

The first Lawyers in Your Library program took place in March at East Regional Library in Knightdale. Volunteer attorneys provided 10 families with free legal consultation in three hours. They were also able to provide referrals for people who needed help outside the scope of the event.

“We’re excited to build upon the initial success of Lawyers in Your Library and help even more families in Wake County,” said Commissioner Matt Calabria. “By bringing expert legal advice directly into our communities, we're empowering individuals and families with the resources they need to navigate complex family law matters.”

Sessions will take place from 9 a.m.–noon. Appointments are available (but not required) at wake.gov/LIL, with additional slots open for walk-ins.

How it Works
At each session of Lawyers in Your Library, three attorneys will be available to provide free, 30-minute consultations to clients on any issues related to family law – from child custody and support to alimony and adoption.

The pro bono attorneys will help advise, counsel, provide form documents and drafting suggestions, and more for many families who may not otherwise have access to legal advice as they navigate the complicated system. By helping them better understand the legal process, the service empowers residents to reach resolution in their cases more efficiently.

“Oftentimes, individuals are able to do many things on their own, but meeting with an attorney gives them the confidence or final pieces that they need in order to confidently represent themselves in court,” said Anh LyJordan, director, Wake County Legal Support Center. “Our volunteer attorneys can help people go through court checklists, draft documents and review materials.”

In 2023, more than 30 volunteers from local family law firms donated over 80 attorney hours to the Attorney of the Day program. Their continued commitment has made it possible for the Legal Support Center to staff the twice-a-month program through the end of 2024 at the courthouse, and to explore additional partnerships like “Lawyers in Your Library.”

“The Lawyers in your Library event at East Regional in March drew a great attendance,” said Deputy Library Director Ann Burlingame Diab. “It was amazing to see how many families were helped through often complex legal issues in such an efficient way.”

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