Metro Court seeking more volunteers for new legal clinic program

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Dealing with complex court process may be difficult for some or they may not have the means to afford it, but a new Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court program is looking to help with that for free.

During these free legal clinics, local attorneys provide free help for people dealing with any kind of civil matter.

Now, they’re looking for more help to deal with the growing demand.

Since March, the Metro Court has held a legal clinic on the second Friday of every month.

During that time, officials say residents who aren’t able to afford legal help can come in to get help with trial preparation, landlord or tenant issues, consumer rights, and other civil matters, as well as help with immigration matters. All thanks to local attorneys volunteering their time.

Paralegal Renee Valdez says they need six to eight attorneys each month just to keep up with the needs of the community.

“It puts them at ease and helps them deal with the matter at hand. If they have a court matter, it better prepares them for court so that they come to court feeling more confident about how they can represent themselves,” Valdez said.

Valdez says just earlier this month, the Metropolitan Court Legal Clinic also added the capability for those in neighboring rural counties to Skype in to speak with an attorney face to face. So far they’ve helped people living in Cuba, Alamogordo, Lordsburg and T or C.

Metro Court is able to provide this clinic for free because many attorneys must complete pro-bono work through the New Mexico State Bar Association.

Through this program, Valdez says they’ve been able to help 25 families a month.

Consultations are first-come-first-serve and limited to first 25 attendees.

Learn more about the clinics by calling (505) 841-9817 or by visiting their website. 

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