1

Opinion: MLK Day clinics offered in the ‘spirit of service and advocacy for equality and social justice’

  • By Becky Kruse
  • Wednesday, January 11, 2023 4:13pm
  • Opinion

If the pandemic has taught us anything it is how much we need each other. Businesses need workers. Children need teachers. The sick need doctors and nurses. Most of us need a professional hairdresser.

And to confront a legal problem — you need an attorney. Regrettably, thousands of Alaskans face legal challenges every year without the resources to hire an attorney or access to limited legal aid. Filling that gap falls to attorneys willing to volunteer their time pro bono.

On Jan. 16, 2023, attorneys across the state will be spending their Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday as “A Day On, Not a Day Off” by volunteering for the 14th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Legal Clinics.

At these free in-person clinics in Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau and Bethel, Alaskans with civil legal problems can expect first come, first serve consultations with an attorney. Attorneys will be available to provide advice on a wide variety of issues, including family law (child support, custody, divorce, guardianship), housing (eviction, foreclosure), public benefits (Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security), employment, personal injury, probate, estate planning, and Native allotments. Times and locations will vary by community. For more information visit www.alaskabar.org/mlk.

Alaskans with low or moderate incomes can also submit legal questions at alaska.freelegalanswers.org. This free legal clinic is available any time of the year, but will be have extra staffing on MLK Day to serve those unable to attend one of the in-person clinics.

The Martin Luther King Jr. Day Legal Clinics are sponsored by the Alaska Bar Association, the Alaska Court System, and Alaska Legal Services Corporation and honor Dr. King’s spirit of service and advocacy for equality and social justice.

• Becky Kruse is chair of the Alaska State Bar’s Pro Bono Service Committee. Columns, My Turns and Letters to the Editor represent the view of the author, not the view of the Juneau Empire. Have something to say? Here’s how to submit a My Turn or letter.

More in Opinion

Web
Have something to say?

Here’s how to add your voice to the conversation.

Former President Donald Trump speaks to a capacity crowd at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage on July 9, 2022. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire file photo)
Opinion: A primary election of ill-informed voters

On Tuesday, Republicans across the state will help anoint Donald Trump as… Continue reading

HEX Cook Inlet, LLC and Subsidiaries presents a check to the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Administration in October of 2023. (Photo courtesy of the Alaska Industrial Development and Export Administration)
My Turn: The Legislature should rein in AIDEA

This story has been updated to correct the photo caption, which originally… Continue reading

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Letter: What’s wrong with this picture?

At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 24, I and several other moms and… Continue reading

Palestinians sell goods next to buildings destroyed by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024. An estimated 1.5 million Palestinians displaced by the war took refuge in Rafahor, which is likely Israel’s next focus in its war against Hamas. (AP Photo/Fatima Shbair)
My Turn: Palestinian residents are helpless victims in attacks made by leaders

In 1948 the United Nations gave the country of Palestine to European… Continue reading

The Juneau School District administrative office, which would be closed and turned over to Juneau’s municipal government under a pending consolidation plan. (City and Borough of Juneau photo)
Opinion: Juneau School District edges closer to balanced budget, but what’s next?

After a marathon public hearing last week, the Juneau School District (JSD)… Continue reading

Students at Juneau Community Charter School play chess in a classroom. (Juneau School District photo)
Opinion: Final Draft – Civic education and the problem with standardized testing

There’s a lot of intense disagreements with the education bill that the… Continue reading

Joe Geldhof is a parent of two daughters who attended public schools in Juneau and a former Juneau Assembly candidate. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
My Turn: Focus on saving teacher jobs, not buildings or nostalgia, to fix school district crisis

The numbers are bad. Really bad. Even dire. Juneau is losing population.… Continue reading

Most Read