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New legal clinic has helped more than
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placeholder November 21, 2016   •   VOL. 54, NO. 20   •   Oakland, CA
Letters from Readers
New legal clinic has helped more than 100 people

On June 4, in the Diocese of Oakland, Bishop Michael C. Barber, SJ, established the Pope Francis Legal Clinic. The clinic's mission is to provide free legal consultation to people who would not otherwise have access to legal counsel. This mission is particularly appropriate in this Jubilee Year of Mercy proclaimed by Pope Francis. The clinic is staffed by attorneys who volunteer their time and expertise.


Pope Francis
Legal Clinic

When: Tuesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: Cathedral of Christ the Light, 2121 Harrison St., Oakland By appointment; dial:

Clinic affiliates
with national group

Retired attorney Tom Greerty, a volunteer at the Oakland diocese's Pope Francis Legal Clinic, attended the first gathering of the Catholic Bar Association in Kansas City in late October. The association, formed in 2015, hopes to unite Catholic legal professionals.

Greerty said the legal clinic is now affiliated with the national group. Also attending that event was Mathew Graham, a member of Christ the King Parish, Pleasant Hill, and president of the St. Thomas More Law Society of San Francisco.

We are delighted to report that thus far the Legal Clinic has begun successfully to fulfill its mission. Since the clinic's inception, attorneys have consulted with more than 100 individuals on a broad range of legal issues including family law, trusts and estates, immigration, real property and unemployment law. For each individual, the clinic's attorneys have provided personal and caring counsel.

In many of these cases, consultation has resulted in a resolution of the individual's legal issues. In those cases where more than legal consultation is needed, referrals to competent outside counsel have been made.

Although most of the individuals who have come to the clinic are Catholic, there is no economic or religious requirement to utilize the clinic's services. The Pope Francis Legal Clinic is open to all.

The Legal Clinic's office is located in the Chancery at 2121 Harrison St., Oakland. It is currently open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays. An individual may dial 510-893-4711 to set up an appointment with an attorney.

We know that there are many people in the diocese who would utilize the clinic's services if they knew about it. We pray that knowledge of the clinic and its services will grow.

If and when the demand for the clinic's legal services increases, additional hours and days shall be added.

(Robert Ford, a member of St. Isidore Parish, Danville, is one of the retired attorneys volunteering their expertise at the Pope Francis Legal Clinic in the Chancery Offices of the Diocese of Oakland. The clinic offers free counsel to qualified, low income residents.)

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