Nassau Bar Association to Provide Free Legal Aid at Open House
The Nassau County Bar Association is hosting an Oct. 24 open house in Mineola to answer residents’ legal questions in person for the first time since the pandemic began.
Attendees will be able to consult with a lawyer on issues such as bankruptcy, divorce, family law, employment, mortgage foreclosure, seniors’ issues and landlord and tenant disputes. During the pandemic, the bar association had provided telephone consultations but is now returning to an in-person format for the open house.
Although lawyers do not provide legal representation, the meetings aim to help participants understand their options, said Madeline Mullane, director of pro bono activities at the bar.
The aim is to allow participants “to choose at least the brains of a lawyer for half an hour or an hour and be able to sit down with someone in complete confidentiality and not have to worry about paying “, Mullane said. “Maybe that’s the only answer they need…and then they can make a decision about whether it’s something where [they] need to hire a lawyer.
The Bar Association is hosting the event in conjunction with Nassau/Suffolk Law Services, a non-profit public interest law firm that provides assistance to low-income and disabled clients, and The Safe Center LI , a Bethpage nonprofit created in 2014 through the merger of the Nassau County Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Coalition Against Child Abuse and Neglect.
Local court officials, including some from the Nassau County Supreme Court, also plan to participate to explain how to handle tasks, such as filing petitions or retrieving property records.
For people who need legal representation, the bar association runs a separate referral service in which clients are matched with an attorney for an initial $50 consultation before deciding whether to seek more expensive legal aid.
The event will take place from 3-7 p.m. at the bar association office at the corner of 15th and West streets in Mineola. Masks are mandatory. Interpreters will be available for Spanish speakers and Haitian Creoles, with additional languages available upon request.
Those interested in attending can call 516-747-4070 ext. 1231 or email [email protected] to register and ensure an attorney is available with expertise in a specific area of law.