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Free Legal Advice Sessions a Big Success

This article appeared in the Mercury newspaper on 15th December 2010.

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Free legal advice sessions, held at a number of community locations in Sheffield and Rotherham, have been heralded a big success by members of the public as well as the providers of the scheme.

The advice sessions, provided by solicitorsfree legal advice from Sheffield and Rotherham based law firm Norrie Waite & Slater, were started earlier this year in a bid to take legal advice out into the community and reach members of the public who may not otherwise gain access to it.

The sessions are held at locations such as libraries, housing offices and citizen's advice bureaus throughout South Yorkshire. The public response has in some cases been overwhelming, with high numbers of people attending the sessions to obtain legal advice.

At each session two solicitors attend and offer advice on legal issues ranging from family matters, wills and probate, criminal issues, housing and motoring offences. People who attend these free sessions often have genuine, pressing legal issues which need to be dealt with , says Simon Goodlad of Norrie Waite & Slater. For whatever reason we find that some people are reluctant to approach a firm of solicitors directly, but by taking the advice sessions out into the community it seems to break down that barrier and make people more likely to get the advice they need.

People who attend the sessions are given free advice on the day on any legal matter. But what if someone needs more than 15 minutes of free advice? We find that many matters can be dealt with on the day. In some cases people require further legal representation such as for a divorce, a criminal matter or a potential accident claim and they want to know where they stand or to ask how the process works , says Simon in many areas of law we can offer legal aid to cover ongoing legal costs.

The sessions are usually held over an afternoon and are carried out on a turn up and wait basis with no appointment required.

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