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President Don Kelley with Kristina Ralls, Director of Legal Programs
            
Kristina Ralls, Director of Legal Programs for The Spokane County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) was guest speaker at the Deer Park Rotary meeting September 27, 2018. 
           
The Volunteer Lawyers Program began in 1985 to provide legal services to low-income residents of Spokane County and outlying counties who may otherwise be denied adequate representation or access to the civil justice system, and to encourage local attorneys to fulfill their duty to provide pro bono services. The program is funded through The Legal Foundation of Washington, interest on trust funds, state and city funds, local grants and donations.  If you are low-income, at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level, and have a non-criminal legal problem, contact CLEAR (Washington State’s Coordinated Legal Education and Referral System) for accessing legal aid at 1-888-201-1014 Monday through Friday from 9:15am to 12:15pm or visit nwjustice.org/clear-online.  There is no income eligibility for Seniors 60 or older and seniors may call CLEAR for Seniors at 1-888-387-7111.
           
The VLP staff consists of an attorney, non-attorneys and volunteers who help with paper work, filling out forms and in the courtroom in matters of family law, landlord-tenant issues, Chapter 7 bankruptcy, consumer matters, wills and estate planning.  In addition, they recruit volunteer attorneys to staff clinics and dockets that address these needs held during the week at various times.  The VLP is fortunate to have assistance from volunteer paralegals and Gonzaga Law School FLASH Program students.
           
Kristina ended by offering how you can help; “Volunteer and tell people about the program.  Let them know there is help out there.”