Volunteer Impact

 

Guardian for the Guardians
 
The client, a grandmother whose daughter had stage four cancer, wanted to make sure her
grandchildren would be taken care of. The father's whereabouts were unknown, and the
family feared that the children might be placed in foster care if they couldn't find help.
The Reynolds Cancer Support House had been assisting the family and called the Center for
Arkansas Legal Services on behalf of the family to express the urgency of the matter.
Kathryn Stocks volunteered to handle the case, even though three days earlier, she'd
accepted another guardianship case.
 
Stocks obtained the guardianship for the grandmother of three and managed to resolve the
entire matter in less than 25 days, helping the children secure a stable home.
 
Advocate: Kathryn Stocks, RVAP Pro Bono Attorney – Jones, Jackson, & Moll
 
A Christmas to Remember
 
The client was referred to the Arkansas Volunteer Lawyers for the Elderly (AVLE) Program
by the East Arkansas Area Agency on Aging for a debt collection issue. The client, a
permanent resident alien and Spanish speaker, wanted help negotiating lower monthly
payments on her debts. Legal Aid of Arkansas referred her to volunteer attorney Joe Barrett,
who waived his fees.
 
Rather than negotiating lower payments, Mr. Barrett helped the client discharge more than
$17,500 in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The client thought that she still owed the attorney for
his fees, and Legal Aid called to tell her during the Christmas shopping season that she did
not owe Mr. Barrett any money. The client was so pleased that she sent thank you notes and
Christmas cards to Legal Aid, thanking them for all that they had done for her.
 
Advocate: Joe Barrett, AVLE Pro Bono Attorney – Joe Barrett, Attorney at Law
 
A Small Intervention with Lasting Consequences
 
The client, a 20-year old student at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville, worked at a
local bookstore and attended school full-time. She was estranged from her family and could
not get them to help her financially with school costs or to supply information that would
help her secure financial aid. Due to this, she was turned down for student aid and told that
she needed an attorney or no help would be available. Feeling hopeless and under
emotional and financial strain, the client called Legal Aid of Arkansas.
 
Pro bono volunteer Matt Osman was assigned her case, and through his efforts, the client
was declared an independent person. As a result of this new status, the client was able to
get a generous Pell Grant and a scholarship and to move forward with her life.
 
Advocate: Matt Osman, AmeriCorps Attorney – Legal Aid of Arkansas