As I’ve talked about before, the gap between legal services and those who need them has never been wider. Fortunately, many, many lawyers do more than gaze into that chasm; they opt to offer their time and expertise on a free or reduced-cost basis.

October traditionally includes what the profession calls “Pro Bono Week,” a time to focus on the legal needs of many people. But lawyers give throughout the year, as we saw at an event last week.

The following news comes from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez at the State Bar of Arizona.

The State Bar and Univision 33 hosted Abogados a Su Lado (“Lawyers at Your Side”) on Thursday, August 23. The evening’s topic was personal-injury issues.

There were seven volunteer attorneys participating in the public service program (for this blog post, I’ve provided links where I could locate them): John Alston, Jess Gulbrandsen, Ridge Hicks, Jose M. Leon, Carlos Slack-Mendez, Patricio Smith and Julio Zapata.

The lawyers fielded 76 calls during the two-hour phone bank. The following is a small sample of the questions that were received:

  • How long do I have to file a claim after a collision?
  • How long does it take to resolve a claim after it has been filed?
  • Can I change attorneys if I am not satisfied with my current attorney?
  • Can I file an injury claim if the vehicle does not exhibit major damage?
  • Can I file a claim if I don’t have a driver’s license?

All seven of the Abogados a Su Lado volunteers were first-time participants. They were satisfied with the quality of the questions overall and were excited to have participated in the Abogados a Su Lado public service program. Calls were consistent from 5 to 7 p.m., which led to a successful phone bank.

Congratulations and thanks to all the participating lawyers.