YLD President Announces Service Project for Year

TBA YLD President David McDowell has announced that during his year in office, the YLD will focus its service activities on one specific project: training librarians across the state how to use free resources to help members of the public in need of legal information and advice. These tools include OnlineTNJustice, which allows qualified individuals to post a legal question to a private messaging system and receive an answer from a volunteer lawyer; LIFT, a website that provides general information about a number of different legal issues as well as links to other pro bono resources; and aLEGALz, a toll-free hotline that provides legal information and referrals to low-income Tennesseans. The goal of the Tennessee Library Education Project is to educate at least one librarian in each county, and have at least one library in each county equipped with a computer the public may use to access these free legal resources.

McDowell also is challenging colleagues to volunteer to answer questions posted on OnlineTNJustice, volunteer at legal aid clinics across the state and take pro bono cases from their local legal aid agency. Board members kicked off the project this month, but all members of the division are invited to participate! If you would like to get involved, please contact your district representative, who is coordinating activities in each region of the state. (If you are unsure of which district you live or work in, see this list of counties.)

In cooperation with the Tennessee Alliance for Legal Services (TALS), the YLD has created a power point presentation and a resource page so volunteer lawyers have the information they need to make presentations on these services. The website also has handouts and signs that can be downloaded and left with librarians for their use. TALS praised the YLD for taking on this project and advertised the effort in a recent e-newsletter. For more information about the effort contact McDowell at (423) 756-5171 or dmcdowell@gearhiserpeters.com.