The 313 Project hosts legal aid clinic

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At left, Michael Gilmore (UDM Law '12) and Caroline Gersch (Wayne Law '12) of Challenge Detroit volunteered to assemble a pancake breakfast for over 100. At right, Clark Hill Associate and The 313 Project Advisory Board member Drew Mast, pictured with The 313 Project co-founder Aisa Berg, led the 7th legal aid and resource clinic.

The 313 Project hosted a legal aid and resource clinic on Saturday, April 6, at Cass Community Social Services (CCSS), a Detroit-based agency providing food, housing, and employment to homeless citizens.

“It was our first clinic at CCSS and we were amazed by the great volunteer turn out from attorneys, law students, and community members,” said Drew Mast, a member of The 313 Project advisory board and associate attorney at Clark Hill. “Regardless of their role, from flipping pancakes to performing legal intake, everyone was helping out with a smile.”

Mast and other 313 Project members have volunteered with CCSS since 2008 as law students. The clinic marked the seventh legal aid and resource clinic that The 313 Project has hosted since transitioning from a law student coalition to 501(c)(3) nonprofit in 2011.

More than 30 volunteers united to serve approximately 100 individuals at the clinic. Fellows from Challenge Detroit prepared a breakfast of pancakes, fruit salad, egg scramble, sausage, and refreshments. Students from “Keeping Them Alive,” a youth empowerment program supported by The 313 Project, led the breakfast service and kitchen clean up. Attorneys Sean Blume, Mindy Hitchcock, Janet Ziulkowski, Jason Eggert, Eric Berg, Erika Riggs, and Roquia Draper performed legal consultations in records expungement, family law, SSI/disability law, and bankruptcy. Blume,
a family and juvenile law attorney, aided several individuals with legal matters.

“I had such a great time. I will be at all of [The 313 Project clinics] in the future,” he stated.

Members of University of Detroit Mercy Law School’s Black Law Student Association performed legal intake and shadowed attorneys during attendee consultations. Michigan State University medical students offered and performed over 40 free health screenings.

The 313 Project’s mission is to connect the legal community to Detroit’s underserved areas through educational, pro bono, and service opportunities. For more information on The 313 Project or to volunteer, Visit www.facebook.com/The313Project or www.the313project.org.

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