Bar Association Opens 3rd Legal Aid Clinic

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To help poor party litigants

The leadership of the Liberia National Bar Association (LNBA) has established a Legal Aid Clinic in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County, as part of efforts to ensure that legal help is provided for people who cannot afford to pay legal fees and hire lawyers to plead on their behalf.

The Grand Bassa County’s establishment brings to four the number of Legal Aid Clinics the leadership of the LNBA has constructed, to provide “free legal services” for party litigants who cannot afford legal fees.

Montserrado, Margibi and Bong counties are currently benefiting from such exercises.

Cllr. Joyce Reeves Woods, LNBA’s Chairperson of the Legal Committee, said that lawyers established the first Legal Aid Clinic in Montserrado County and then founded another one in Margibi County.

She stated that after Margibi County, the LNBA’s Legal Aid Clinic committee will look forward to establishing another Legal Aid Clinic in Bong and Bomi counties, with financial support from United States Aid for International Development (USAID)’s Legal Professional Development and Anti-Corruption Program.

Cllr. Woods reminded Margibians that the Legal Aid Clinic has come close to their doorsteps, and so they must take advantage of its services.

Woods assured the residents of providing “pro bono lawyers” who will manage the Legal Aid Clinic.

LNBA President Cllr. Moses Paegar, prior to opening the Legal Aid Clinic, said that formalities to establish Legal Aid Clinics in other counties have been completed, and called on residents to take advantage of the clinics.

“People of Grand Bassa County come now and take advantage of this Legal Aid Clinic,” said Paegar, who praised the people of the United States for building the lawyers’ capacities.

USAID Chief of Party Gerald Meyerman urged the residents to take advantage of the Legal Aid Clinic, by taking their cases there so that lawyers can resolve their problems, rather than taking the law into their own hands.

Meyerman admonished the citizens of the county to shun violence, but to see the clinic as a relief for dispute resolution, while advising lawyers to allot some of their time to provide free legal services to those in need of justice.

He then pledged USAID’s commitment to working with the LNBA in ensuring that the program works.

Grand Bassa County Superintendent Janjay Baikpeh lauded the LNBA and its partners for taking the Legal Aid Clinic to the county.

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