Demand for free civil legal aid in Michigan outweighs attorneys

Kelisha Williams has been trying to get a divorce for five years and said it has been a long and expensive endeavor.

Last fall, when a car accident left her unable to work and without steady income, she couldn’t afford a lawyer.

The cost for legal representation, according to estimates Williams received: between $8,000 to $10,000. But earlier this year, a 3rd Circuit Court judge referred her to the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic — the Salvation Army’s only free legal service provider in the world, serving low-income metro Detroit residents — and she’s now hopeful she’ll get to a resolution. The 47-year-old Detroiter said it was a relief the court told her about the clinic because otherwise she likely would have been waiting for someone to call her back or tell her they’re not accepting clients.

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