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Alkalay & Smillie, PLLC

in Mt. Washington Valley, New Hampshire

Office: (603) 447-8994
Fax: (603) 297-2866

Articles of Interest

Attorney Edward Alkalay writes a regular column for the Conway Daily Sun newspaper entitled "The Legal Corner." His articles address a wide variety of timely legal issues. Click on the titles below to review his past articles.

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The Legal Corner: Legal Resources For the Indigent

January 23, 2008

In many ways, our justice system is the envy of the world. Our judiciary is independent from many of the political pressures that face judges in some other countries. Lawyers are trained to be advocates for clients rather than arms of the government. And in many cases, a jury of our peers has the final fact-finding power to determine whether a case is valid or not.

Nonetheless, our legal system continues to be much more advantageous for the wealthy than the indigent. This disparity in legal power between the wealthy and the poor is the single greatest injustice of our system. However, those who are struggling financially should be aware of the low cost or free options available to obtain representation or at least legal advice.

Below, I list a number of resources available that provide legal aid at low or no cost. This list is by no means exhaustive and many private attorneys offer low cost or pro bono (free) services to a certain number of clients.

New Hampshire Legal Assistance – NHLA provides free legal advice and representation to eligible New Hampshire citizens. NHLA\'s main office is in Manchester (603-668-2900 or 1-800-562-3174) and there are branch offices located in Littleton (603-444-8000 or 1-800-548-1886), Portsmouth ((603)431-7411 or 1-800-334-3135), and Claremont (603-542-8795 or 1-800-562-3994).

Senior Citizen’s Law Project – This is a branch of the NHLA which is designed specifically for legal issues facing seniors: 603-624-6000 or 1-888-353-9944.

New Hampshire Bar Association – The NHBA has a lawyer referral service and a reduced fee referral program. Call 603-229-0002 to discuss whether you are eligible for the reduced fee program.

The Legal Advice and Referral Center - LARC provides free information, legal advice and referral services to low-income persons regarding family law, welfare, and housing. Call 603-224-3333 or 1-800-639-5290.

The Domestic Violence Emergency Project - The DOVE Project provides free legal representation for qualifying survivors of domestic violence at final restraining order hearings, among other things. Call 1-800-852-3388.

LawLine - Volunteer lawyers provide fee legal information on the second Wednesday of the month from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call 1-800-868-1212.

SCOPE - One day each month, local lawyers volunteer their time at the Superior Court in Ossipee to answer legal and procedural questions of pro se litigants (those who are representing themselves in court).

While affluence certainly helps in pursuing or defending legal claims, there are resources for those without significant assets. The above resources are not exhaustive, but I do hope that they help those who may have valid claims or defenses, but are without means to otherwise hire an attorney.

Edward D. Alkalay is a partner at Alkalay & Smillie PLLC and can be reached at (603)447-8994 or ed@northconwaylawyers.com. (This article conveys general information and should not be relied on for legal advice without further research and/or consultation with an attorney.)

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By: Edward D. Alkalay