Free legal help is available at East Carroll Parish Library

Some services provided will be for child custody, divorce, property disputes, and name changes.
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 7:24 PM CDT
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LAKE PROVIDENCE, La. (KNOE) - A high-tech free legal service is now available at East Carroll Parish Library.

It’s the first such program in the state, and it provides access to individuals who can’t afford attorneys.

Community members can expect to speak with attorneys through a live consultation inside the legal help access booth.

It will be a live consultation and this help is only for non-criminal cases.

Some services provided will be for child custody, divorce, property disputes, and name changes.

“Another interesting point about the access point that I like to point out is there are also forms that are generated that could be printed here at the library and filed at the Clerk’s Office,” said Laurie Brister, the 6th Judicial District Court Judge.

She says these are approved Louisiana forms that can be filed with the clerk of court to start their legal process.

She says the forms will lead them through a step-by-step process.

“If an individual needs further legal services or it’s a more detailed case, they may at some point have to hire an attorney who specializes in that area. It’s meant to be an access point where the person can initially talk with the attorney and the attorney can guide them through the very first steps.”

Lake Providence is one of the most impoverished communities in the state and these services are helping individuals who struggle to access legal services.

East Carroll Library Director Kris Sanders says some residents have to drive over an hour to find help.

“So therefore something of this magnitude is huge for us because poverty is extremely high in this area. The job rate is low, so something of this magnitude is really great because legal services are just almost unbelievable in our area. So when you think about legal services and people not being able to have it, something like this is just magnificent.

Sanders says the Louisiana State Bar Association paid about $7,000 for the legal booth, and they will install one in the Concordia Parish Library on Aug. 18, 2022.

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