The free legal clinics held monthly in Marietta for those who can’t afford legal representation rely on a network of local attorneys willing to give their time. Among them is Jim Addison, of Devola, who helped get the clinics up and running decades ago.
“Jim Addison was a critical part of the team that put together the legal clinic,” said Robin Bozian, project managing attorney at Southeastern Ohio Legal Services, which assists in the clinics. ” It was done in conjunction with SEOLS and our organization covers all costs associated with the clinic and private attorneys are covered by our malpractice insurance.”
The program served 209 individuals in 2017. It relies on a networks of attorneys, and more are needed, said Bozian.
Those who are assisted are very appreciative, she said. Some of the comments received from recent clients include that the service gave them peace of mind and that they now understand their rights. “I feel better just knowing someone cares,” another said.
The clinics began when the Ohio Legal Assistance Foundation encouraged legal services throughout the state to engage in efforts to involve the private bar in providing services to low-income individuals.
Addison said at the time he thought the cause was important was happy to lend a hand.
He is still helping, and will be on hand at the next free clinic this Wednesday.
Question: I was told you were one of the attorneys who helped establish these free clinics. How long have we had them?
Answer: I would say at least 20 years.