William Booth Legal Aid Clinic
"To deny adequate legal service to the poor is to deprive our most needy of a lifeline into society."
-Michigan State Bar Journal
The William Booth Legal Aid Clinic is an innovative legal services provider to low income clients committed to the belief that access to exceptional advocacy for all members of the community is a crucial component of a free society and that positive experiences with the legal system can be life changing.
Established in 1994, the Clinic services residents from Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County, in addition to providing assistance to the indigent population participating in the Salvation Army’s residential Harbor Light Programs. The Clinic provides legal counsel, advocacy and education and facilitates social services on behalf of those in need within the community. Ninety percent of the clients are minorities, including African-Americans, Hispanics, Arab-Americans and Asian Americans.
The WBLAC exists to address the legal problems and provide high quality legal services at no cost to those living at or below poverty guidelines. The Clinic services individuals, families and U.S. Military Veterans in need and educates clients with regard to their legal rights and obligations while seeking to eliminate legal problems as obstacles that may prevent them from reaching their full potential. The ultimate goal is to empower responsible citizens who have broken the cycle of poverty and dependency.
The WBLAC operates with a small staff consisting of a Clinic Director, two full-time attorneys, one part-time attorney, a client relations coordinator and volunteer law students and paralegals from local law schools and college programs.
The WBLAC also relies on counsel and guidance from an Advisory Board, comprised of a variety of members from the business and legal community, including highly esteemed active and retired members of the judiciary from Oakland and Wayne County.
WHAT WE DO
The WBLAC addresses nearly two thousand legal issues per year, primarily assisting with matters related to family law, divorce, child custody, domestic violence, probate, landlord-tenant law and other areas that can impact the quality of life for children and their families.
The WBLAC legal team has favorably resolved cases involving interstate parental kidnapping, international custody disputes and has successfully interceded on behalf of countless families facing crises involving domestic violence, homelessness and transitional poverty.
In conjunction with the Wayne County Circuit Court, the WBLAC conducts bi-monthly family law clinics, assisting and counseling public participants on issues related to child custody, support and parenting time.
The WBLAC has established collaborative outreach programs with the Oakland and Wayne County Circuit Court, participating in numerous community projects directed at educating and advocating on behalf of the low income public in matters ranging from family law to landlord-tenant issues.
Each spring, the WBLAC hosts an annual Walk For Justice fundraiser at the Detroit Zoo, where individuals and families seize the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors while supporting an important cause.
The WBLAC relies on private contributions — from law firms, corporations, foundations, and individuals and it is this generous private support that allows the clinic to be a powerful and positive force in the lives of low-income tri-county.
For each client the WBLAC helps, the clinic turns away many others because it simply lacks resources. The WBLAC is looking for contributions and support in its mission to make the legal system accessible for all.
To make a tax deductible contribution to The William Booth Legal Aid Clinic, click here or contact the office at 313-361-6340.