VLSP attorney Scott MacPherson is responsible for ensuring forms available at the Hall of Justice Help Center are also available at the library, and for making sure the Rundel Help Center is staffed on Fridays from 1:00-4:00, as well as overseeing the Court’s Help Center.
“For some individuals, the Central Library may seem more accessible than the Hall of Justice,” MacPherson explained. “It is an important community link where many people are already seeking information. Our office in the Rundel Building is easy to get to and familiar for many in the community, without the intensity of the Hall of Justice, which requires metal detector screening.”
The Library Resource Outreach Center helps make library patrons aware of the services available at the library, including hours for Help Center Lawyers in the Library and other programs offered by other social service providers.
Although the Rundel Help Center started offering services in October 2015, scheduling became a bit easier in recent weeks when attorneys from Barclay Damon committed to keeping that site staffed.
As part of the firm’s commitment to pro bono work, Barclay Damon agreed to send Rochester office attorneys to the library every Friday between 1 and 2:30pm. VLSP paralegal Danielle Sharp and/or MacPherson himself are often on hand to assist with whatever questions walk through the door.
Barclay Damon attorneys who have participated to date include: Brittany Aungier, Gabriel Bouvet-Boischair, Sanjeev Devabhakthuni, Edwin Larkin, Danielle Mettler-LaFier, Paul Sanders, Tara Sciortino, Robert Shaddock, Tom Walsh, Mark Whitford and summer associate, Kaylan Porter.
When asked about his commitment to the Help Center project, Sanders said: “First and foremost, it’s the right thing to do. We believe there is an ethical obligation to give back to the community and help those who may not have the resources to hire lawyers like us.”
“While we don’t give people legal advice at the Help Center, we can provide the tools and guidance necessary to help them resolve legal problems they were feeling hopeless about, or refer them to someone who can help them, ” said MacPherson.
“We only see about 15 individuals per month at Rundel due to the limited hours we are there,” MacPherson added. “But every week we help someone new. We are happy to know that word is getting out about our programs!”
Written by Nora A. Jones