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Legal fairs to provide free advice from lawyers
The county free legal fair is set for Sept. 22 at Aztec district courthouse
FARMINGTON — The annual San Juan County Free Legal Fair is approaching. Community members will have a chance to speak with an attorney for free on a number of different legal issues.
The San Juan County District Courthouse in Aztec will shut down operations in the afternoon during the event on Sept. 22 and allow attorneys to meet with the public for five hours.
About 35 attorneys showed up at last year's event where more than 100 people attended, according to District Judge Daylene Marsh. The first event was hosted in 2004.
The event is organized by the 11th Judicial District's Pro Bono Committee and the New Mexico Volunteer Attorney Program.
Attorneys will be stationed all over the courthouse, even meeting with clients in hallways, to allow attendees to receive free legal advice on a variety of topics, Judge Marsh said.
Some of the topics include a name change, child support, guardianship, divorce, and unemployment.
Topics Judge Marsh highlighted were domestic, probate, real estate and foreclosure cases.
The event provides an opportunity for people who might not be able to afford a fee for a consultation with an attorney.
"There are quite a few people who are lower income and have questions," Judge Marsh said.
She added that most people in public service like to give back to the community and this is one of those opportunities.
Attorneys who specialize in Navajo Nation law will also be on hand.
There will be interpreters on-site for people who speak the Navajo and Spanish language.
A special area will be setup for a sign language interpreter or an interpreter who speaks other languages other than Navajo, Spanish and English to appear remotely.
Sometimes a crowd appears as early as 10 a.m., lining up at the courthouse building.
Judge Marsh wanted to assure everyone will be seen and the attorneys will not show up until noon.
In a separate event, the State Bar of New Mexico is hosting a legal workshop on Sept. 20th at the Bonnie Dallas Senior Center in Farmington.
The organization's Legal Resource for the Elderly Program will host a legal workshop from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. at the senior center at 109 E. La Plata St., according to the organization's website.
One-on-one consultations will be available and will require advance registration. Call 1-800-876-6657 or 505-797-6005 to register.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.
If you go
What: The San Juan County Free Legal Fair
When: Noon to 5 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 22.
Where: The San Juan County District Courthouse at 103 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec
More Info: Visit 11thjdc.nmcourts.gov or call Aztec district court at 505-334-6151 or Farmington District Court at 505-326-2256