Adios, August!

This August, we contemplated the idea of sacrifice with the help of Executive Director Chris Purnell’s musings on sacrifice’s hope for a better future. We also learned more about Volunteer Coordinator Kathleen Bloxsome and her role at the Clinic.

We were introduced to two committed donors of the Clinic and their reasons for regular giving. And we celebrated both the success of our Naturalization Day, when Clinic staff and volunteers helped 62 clients on their path to citizenship, as well as the success of a Project Grace client who got his life back on track again.

On the Path to Citizenship

On August 20, the Clinic held a 1-day event known as Naturalization Day. Hosted by Washington Township at Northview Middle School, volunteers and Clinic staff served 62 individual clients on the path to citizenship. According to Immigrant Justice Program Manager Brandon Fitzsimmons, tackling such a process in a single day is beneficial to everyone involved, with a higher volume of clients served in a much shorter timeframe. “We’re looking at 2 possibly 3 months of meetings, revisions, signings—everything truncated,” he says. “[Naturalization Day] is a benefit to the client and it also allows us to be more efficient with our own production.”

Meet Volunteer Coordinator, Kathleen Bloxsome: Time, Talents, and Treasures

For those who want to begin volunteering, or who do not quite know where to start, Kathleen recommends the one-day events at the Clinic, saying, “No matter who you are, an attorney or not an attorney, they’re just a really great, engaging way to see what the Clinic is about.” These events are scheduled for a specific service, such as Refugee Adjustment Day, where staff and volunteers help refugees adjust their paperwork very quickly for the entire day. “It’s kind of like a one-and-done opportunity for them to come in and get some legal services,” Kathleen explains.

A New Road

After passing various Driver Safety tests, and with the help of his attorney, Robert was able to submit a Waiver of Reinstatement Fees, which the court granted. This was followed by submitting a request for Specialized Driving Privileges. “It was a long process—it was a year long—and whatever my attorney told me to do, I did,” he says. “Six months ahead of time he told me to start an insurance policy and begin showing a pattern of making payments, although I couldn’t drive. I didn’t question it and I did it. The Prosecutor was floored over that.”

Generosity in Action

One regular donor, Malcolm Gately, first became acquainted with the work of the Clinic through his membership at Grace Church. As a Christian, he was particularly drawn to its mission. He says, “I think the Neighborhood Christian Legal Clinic exemplifies living out those [Christian] values about as well as any organization I’ve ever seen, as well as practically serving the most vulnerable and challenged people in our area.”

Justice for All Gala 2016

In addition to a high-caliber speaker, the event will include heavy hors d’oeuvres and a chance to socialize and network. JFA Event Chair and Board Member Jason Reese is especially excited about expanding the reach of the gala this year. “Anytime we can bring the community of believers and followers together is a good thing,” he says. “Especially where we have a high energy group who believes in social justice.”

Abundant Sacrifice: A Message from Executive Director Chris Purnell

Sacrifice is an ambiguous concept. But it is not flowery. It is not a dandelion that can be blown any direction we please. Sacrifice is an anchored reality. It is a particular thing that one gives up for some other more beautiful reality. And further, we believe that there was one sacrifice that is the paradigm for all sacrifice; and it happened in the first century in an occupied country to a peasant without a home.

Goodbye, July!

This July, we celebrate freedom in both our country and in Christ. We learned more about the financial freedom experienced by a veteran who came through our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic and received assistance with his taxes.

In Episode 3, Part 1 of our podcast, Courting Justice, we explore the freedom from civil wars and extreme danger experienced by refugees who are resettled in the United States. In the episode, two experts on immigration answer questions and address common misconceptions regarding refugees. Tweet us your legal questions now @NCLegalClinic #CourtingJustice for a chance to have it answered in our next episode!

Immigration & Refugees — Courting Justice Podcast Episode 1×03 Part 1

What exactly is a refugee? What kinds of screening processes do refugees undergo before entering the United States? What barriers do they typically face and what kinds of services are available to help them integrate into our community?

Join host Ashley Caveda for Part 1 of our special two-part series on Immigration and Refugees. She discusses common questions and misconceptions regarding refugees with Director of Outreach & Immigration Services at Exodus Refugee Megan Hochbein and Immigrant Justice Program Staff Attorney Rachel VanTyle.

A Veteran’s Fight

Last year, veteran John Cooper* chose to visit our Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) when he realized he needed help sorting out his tax debt with the IRS. After sustaining an injury to his leg years earlier, John was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps. Since that time, thanks in part to his disability, John struggled to find steady work.