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Free legal clinic now open in Rome

By GARY LIBERATORE

ROME, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Chief Judge of the State of New York has made getting legal help to those who need it a top priority.and today, the effects of that can be seen in the City of Rome.

A free legal clinic is now set up inside the Rome City Court Building at 100 W. Court St..

It's all thanks to an initiative by Chief Judge Johnathan Lippman which led to the awarding of $15 million dollars in grants to 57 providers of free civil legal services to low income people throughout New York State.

One of those agencies is Legal Services of Central New York, which already has permanent offices in Utica and Watertown, and now has this clinic open only on Mondays in Rome.

Legal Services of Central New York Managing Attorney Tom Buckel of Syracuse is one of the attornies who will staff the Rome office.

Buckel says there definitely is a need for the service all over the state "The Chief Judge of the State of New York has found there's a crisis is our court system of unrepresented people, people in need, who are not only unable to afford the services that they need to get on with normal incidents of life but who are also making the courts more expensive for everybody and slows things down, and the Chief Judge in the Judiciary in the state has made this a priority to ensure people in need are getting legal services and not just for their good, but for the system as a whole."

There are income guidelines to qualify for the free help.  It's open to anyone who makes less than twice the poverty level.

If you are having questions about the free service, you can call 877-475-3120.

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