For the Good of the Gulf: UNC Law Winter/Spring Break Pro Bono Project

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The group working on divorces....

Let me give you a little background on what we as a whole are working on and what specifically my smaller section is working on.

We have a group of folks doing criminal work. This is the side of the legal field that deals with folks who may or may not have broken some official law. Our students have been spending time at a local prison -- interviewing inmates and working to aid them.

We've also got a group doing civil work -- not the cops and robbers side of the law -- but wills, contracts, administrative stuff.... One part of this group is working on successions -- property getting passed from one person to another by way of lots of paperwork.

Another part of the civil group is working on divorces. This is the group of four students I'm working with.

The idea of helping folks get divorced raised my eyebrow. Folks and families getting split up isn't a warm and fuzzy thing, but these are uncontested, pretty amicable splits and our work helps folks get on with their lives.

Some of these cases may be linked to Katrina, but a lot of them are cases that have simply been in the backlog since the storm hit and so many things have been put on the back burner.

These cases involve an amount of paperwork -- things need to be signed, filed, mailed, drafted... and done correctly in the right order. The lawyers we're working with give us some files, we figure out what's the next step in the process, and we take care of it: so and so needs to be mailed a waiver of service, the next thing needs to be filed at a courthouse, somebody needs to be informed that their divorce has gone through....

And that's my little corner in a nutshell....


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