The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Event promises legal answers


October 13, 2019

If you’ve ever had a legal question gnawing at you or find yourself in the midst of a legal situation with no direction, Thursday might be the perfect opportunity to talk to an expert, for free.

The 9th Judicial District Pro Bono Committee and the Volunteer Attorney Program will be putting on the eighth annual Ask-A-Lawyer event at Yam Theater in Portales from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday. The event provides first-come, first served access to free consultations with volunteer attorneys for citizens of Curry, Roosevelt and De Baca counties.

“Many members of our community may be dealing with legal issues. Some may choose to hire an attorney and some may decide to proceed pro se, to represent themselves,” said Senior Court Attorney for the 9th Judicial District Court Ben Cross. “Ask-A-Lawyer allows for a free legal consultation from a volunteer attorney. The hope is that each person will feel better about their situation and have more information for making decisions moving forward.”

Legal subjects covered will include divorce, visitation, custody, landlord/tenant rights, bankruptcy, debtor and creditor law, child support, guardianship, kinship, wills, probate, unemployment, immigration and name changes.

There will be 12 attorneys present and New Mexico Supreme Court Justice C. Shannon Bacon will be there as the event’s keynote speaker. Bilingual attorneys and staff will be present.

The Pro Bono Committee is a local group that encourages attorneys to offer free legal services to their communities and holds the Ask-A-Lawyer event each year as their main event. The committee is made up of local attorneys, paralegals and court staff and is chaired by District Court Judge Donna Mowrer.

The Volunteer Attorney Program is a division of New Mexico Legal Aid that works with the New Mexico Bar and supports various pro bono committees in the state.

The event switches locations each year between Curry and Roosevelt county and helped 138 community members with legal questions last year, said Cross.

Before opening the legal fair portion of the event for visitors to ask questions, there will be a luncheon where attorney Mickie Patterson and paralegal Nicole Roybal will receive awards for their efforts in offering pro bono services. Attorney Wesley Pool will also be recognized for his service as state bar president in 2018.

Before the Ask-A-Lawyer event, Bacon will be holding a presentation for Eastern New Mexico University students at the ENMU College of Business building in room 138 from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.

For more information on these events contact the Attorney Volunteer Program at 505-814-5033. Access to a sign language interpreter will also be available for the event on request by contacting Eldora Morris via email at:

[email protected]


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