Law students to offer free legal services

By John Henderson

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University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill law students are coming to Rocky Mount on Monday to offer free legal services to low-income people.

The UNC Law Pro Bono Program, the UNC Center for Civil Rights and Legal Aid of North Carolina will hold the free clinic for Nash County residents. The clinic will offer execution of wills, powers of attorney, health care powers of attorney, living wills and federal and state tax returns. It will be held at the Down East Partnership for Children, 215 Lexington St. in Rocky Mount.

Two sessions have been scheduled. One is at 8:30 a.m. The other is at 1 p.m.

Law students supervised by licensed attorneys will interview clients and draft legal documents based on their directives. While students draft these documents, clients will have the opportunity to have their federal and state income tax returns completed and filed. All documents will be executed and notarized at the event. People should expect to set aside about three to four hours for their appointment, according to a press release.

This clinic is part of a three-day trip coordinated by the UNC Law Pro Bono Program during spring break. Twenty-five students will be participating in the clinic.

One is Atiya Boddie, a 2004 Northern Nash High School graduate who is attending law school at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“This is my first time doing the wills clinic,” she said. “I’m involved in multiple pro bono organizations.”

This trip is the fifth installment in the “Wills Project,” established in 2008 as a collaboration between the UNC School of Law Pro Bono Program, the UNC Center for Civil Rights, and Legal Aid of North Carolina.

“The project’s continuing goal is to mitigate the trend of disproportionate African-American land loss in North Carolina while training the next generation of attorneys,” a press release states.

People interested in making an appointment should call the Legal Aid Wilson office at 1-800-682-7902. People must meet income eligibility guidelines as determined by a short phone interview.