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Valley Journals

In-House Request Means Out-of-House Law-Learning Benefit for City

Sep 29, 2015 02:29PM ● By Rhett Wilkinson

Lisa Garner and Michelle Henderson are responsible for making Midvale City’s free law clinic possible. It is open every third Thursday evening of the month at Midvale City Hall. Photo courtesy Jarin Blackham

By Rhett Wilkinson

City Court Administrator Michelle Henderson asked the city council for a sponsored law clinic. Now, the city is the only municipality in Salt Lake County to offer such a thing.

On monthly evenings at City Hall, Midvale residents seek help with legal needs and gain knowledge about law – and particularly about the processes of legal needs. The expert is City Prosecutor Lisa Garner, who is volunteering her time.

“We want for people to understand that the legal system is there to help them – not to go after them,” Henderson said. “We want to educate people on what the resources are and that it’s not quite as scary as people think the legal world is.”

Henderson’s first-hand experience with civil cases made her realize the need for a legal clinic, she said. Provided services include the processes for legal needs of family, employment law, disability and housing, immigration and general legal questions, according to the city. While seven folks at the city’s new facility might be a high attendee count thus far, Henderson still is concerned with making sure that they are helped in a timely manner.

“It hasn’t gotten super-huge quite yet,” Henderson said. “We’re waiting for the point for needing two or three attorneys to come in and that will be a great day.”

Henderson approached the city council in September of last year and expressed gratitude to Garner for donating her time.

The clinic runs from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on the third Thursday of the month in the Dahl Conference Room at the city hall at 7505 South 700 West. Henderson can be reached at 801-567-7290 or mhenderson@midvale.com.