How MVLS Supports Clients

What happens when a potential client contacts the MVLS intake hotline? The intake hotline is open Monday – Thursday from 9 am to 12 pm and our team of dedicated paralegals are available to provide assistance and place clients with a volunteer to handle their case.

If you want help with a civil legal issue, please click here to find out how to apply for help from a volunteer lawyer.  

Interested volunteers can learn more about joining our volunteer panel or review our available cases.

Below is a sample of how callers are helped by MVLS staff. 

9:00 a.m.

9:00 a.m.

Client intake hours just started, and our hotline is now up and running. MVLS’ five paralegals are hard at work, speaking to callers facing civil legal issues. MVLS paralegal Gabe speaks to a 70-year-old woman, Betty, who heard about MVLS’s My Home, My Deed, My Legacy campaign, and now wants to make sure her name is on the deed to her home. Gabe lets Betty know that one of our volunteer attorneys can help with correcting her deed and starts reaching out to volunteers to place her case.

9:35 A.M.

9:35 A.M.

Senior paralegal Makeisha gets an urgent call from Cynthia, who recently moved away from her abusive husband and needs a lawyer to help with divorce and custody of her two children. As Makeisha continues to gather information, the caller mentions that her home is also about to go into foreclosure. Makeisha informs the caller that we can help with family law cases like divorce and child custody, and we help hundreds of families each year with foreclosure cases.

10:20 a.m.

10:20 a.m.

A victory! Paralegal LaKisha places a debt collections case with a volunteer lawyer and calls the client, Robert, with the good news. For the past few months, Robert has been receiving threatening phone calls and did not know where to go for help. When LaKisha calls to tell him we found an attorney to represent him, he is both thrilled and relieved.

11:15 A.M.

11:15 A.M.

Paralegal Milena is talking to Maya, a mother from El Salvador, in her native language of Spanish. Had Maya spoken something other than Spanish or English, Milena would use an interpretation service. Maya contacted MVLS to help file for custody of her daughter. She and her daughter recently fled their home in El Salvador and traveled to the United States after the child’s father became abusive towards the child. An MVLS volunteer will help Maya obtain a custody order that will enable her daughter to seek Special Immigrant Juvenile Status. In the future, an immigration attorney will help the child file to stay in the US.

11:50 A.M.

11:50 A.M.

While on the phone with Anthony about a tax issue, paralegal Sam notices that the caller has some criminal convictions that might be eligible for expungement. When Sam asks Anthony about the convictions, Anthony indicates he has been having problems finding a job because of his criminal history. In addition to connecting Anthony to a volunteer attorney, CPA, or Enrolled Agent through MVLS’s Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic, Sam begins looking for a volunteer attorney who can help with criminal record expungements. Within 30 days, Sam will identify an attorney who can help Anthony clear his record and set him up for future employment opportunities.

As intake begins to wind down for the day, the paralegals will continue working hard to place cases with volunteers to help access civil legal aid for clients across the state. Through the work of MVLS staff and our volunteers, together it is our mission to achieve justice for all.

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