published Thursday, December 13th, 2012

Legal Aid offers free advice today in Chattanooga

If you go

What: Legal Aid of East Tennessee free clinic

When: Today from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where: Brainerd Recreation Complex, 1010 N. Moore Road, Chattanooga

Cost: Free

Bring: Any documents related to your legal issue

A dozen lawyers will try to relieve some legal stress for area folks in a free legal clinic today.

Charlie McDaniel, who heads the Legal Aid of East Tennessee's pro bono projects, said today's clinic is an effort to help needy people before the holidays with free advice.

"We're hoping to ease some stress, ease some minds and help people resolve any legal issues they have," McDaniel said.

The office covers 10 East Tennessee counties and has held five clinics in the Chattanooga area this year.

McDaniel said there are tentative plans to double the number of clinics and do more outreach. Lawyers who work for the office and others who volunteer help people with civil, not criminal cases.

A person must not be able to afford legal representation to qualify, McDaniel said.

One of the dozen attorneys on hand today, Brittany Thomas, is new to law but made an early commitment in her career to help those in need.

She practices mostly immigration law but works also on other areas of civil law at the firm Grant, Konvalinka & Harrison in Chattanooga.

The 24-year-old Oak Ridge, Tenn., native worked as an intern at the local Legal Aid office while in law school.

"For me, it reminds me of why I went to law school," she said. "You have someone who's already floundering, and having to hire an attorney can make things even worse."

about Todd South...

Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...

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