Mission First Legal Aid Clinic
"Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy." — Proverbs 31: 8-9
The Mission First Legal Aid Office provides legal services and spiritual counsel to underserved residents of Jackson, Mississippi. Established in 2006, the Legal Aid Office is a partnership between MC Law and Mission First, a multi-faceted neighborhood outreach ministry. Mission First Legal Aid’s clients are people who are struggling to make ends meet and would not otherwise have access to legal representation.
With a fulltime staff of only three, Mission First Legal Aid serves more than 1,200 clients every year, relying on more than 200 volunteer lawyers and law school students to see that justice really is for all.
While the Christian faith is the driving force behind the organization, Mission First Legal Aid is non-sectarian and in no way limits its services to any race, color, sex, age, national origin, religion, or any other basis other than need.
Primary areas of legal services provided by Mission First Legal Aid include:
Government Benefit Programs
Matters not handled by Mission First Legal Aid Office include those related to criminal, workers’ compensation, divorce, and personal injury law.
Financial Eligibility for Legal Assistance
The Mission First Legal Aid Office serves residents of metropolitan Jackson, Mississippi, whose household income does not exceed 200 percent of the 2012 Federal Poverty Guidelines. Each client must complete a financial eligibility determination form prior to the delivery of legal services.
The Mission First Legal Aid Office relies extensively on volunteers to serve its clientele. Volunteers needed include law students, lawyers, and administrative and support personnel.
Law students will gain valuable experience and insight into the practice of law. Opportunities at Mission First Legal Aid complement classroom instruction and provide students the chance to interact with clients and local attorneys. Duties include conducting intake interviews, completing intake forms, checking for conflicts, reviewing court documents, scheduling appointments, summarizing legal issues, drafting correspondence, and assisting with research and document preparation.
Attorneys meet with and advise clients and oversee the resolution of the problem. Attorneys may work onsite at the Mission First campus in west Jackson, provide ad hoc telephone advice in particular areas of expertise, and/or take referred cases that are beyond the scope of Mission First Legal Aid’s resources. Volunteer attorneys will be provided CLE training. Most importantly, they realize the satisfaction that comes from using their legal talents and expertise to help those who have nowhere else to turn. Lawyers who volunteer with the Mission First Legal Aid Office truly have the opportunity to change lives.
Administrative personnel includes paralegals, legal secretaries, and others who assist with client intake, document review, and administrative duties. An important part of the Mission First Legal Aid ministry, these volunteers soon realize the impact a simple gesture or a kind word can have on a person in need.
If you would like to volunteer with the Mission First Legal Aid Office, please contact:
Director, Mission First Legal Aid Office