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"The good lawyer is not the man who has an eye to every side and angle of contingency, and qualifies all his qualifications, but who throws himself on your part so heartily, that he can get you out of a scrape."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

PRO BONO – MISSION WACO’S NEW LEGAL SERVICES PROGRAM

Pro Bono

Pro Bono Legal Services Program

A big “welcome” to the Director of the new Mission Waco Legal Services Program, Kent McKeever. Mr. McKeever, a Baylor graduate, has recently relocated with his family back to the wonderful city of Waco, Texas and is now in the process of organizing this Pro Bono program and its services. At this time, the program is not fully up and running as Mr. McKeever organizes volunteers from the community to offer services and also raising money to fund the program’s budgetary needs.

Waco’s Newest Avenue for Pro Bono Legal Services

What is are Pro Bono Legal Services  at Mission Waco and what type of assistance do they hope to provide? This program is planning on providing legal assistance to McLennan County residents for civil and criminal matters of all types- from both felony and misdemeanor criminal matters, to issues regarding child support, divorces, and wills – to those who are desperately in need of help and are not able to get help from other sources located in McLennan County. The program is targeting not only those persons that are in the low-income bracket, but also those moderate-income persons that are unable to afford to pay a regular fee for legal services.

As most people are aware, many criminal defendants that can’t afford attorneys have a right to court-appointed representation, but that same right does not necessarily exist in divorces, child custody issues, evictions or housing disputes. Initially, Mr. McKeever is focusing this service in the specific areas of youth and children, immigration and employment-related issues. However, the program will attempt to find suitable practitioners for any legal matter.

Pro Bono Doesn’t Always Mean Free

How much will these services cost? In most cases, these legal services will not be free, the belief is that people with a problem should be a part of their solution; therefore, clients will pay on a sliding fee scale based on what they can afford. Although these are nominal fees based upon the situation they find themselves in, this payment involves the client in a way that makes them “invested” in the solution. However, McKeever is in the process of raising money to fund the program’s budget, and also seeking volunteers willing and able to provide their time and talents to this endeavor.

It is McKeever’s hope that a legal clinic will be provided in the next couple of months, and is in need of attorneys willing to volunteer their time and services to give this new program a jump start at helping McLennan County residents in need of services.

Legal Services Program Objective

Pro Bono means “for the public good.”  The main objective of the Legal Services Program is simple and straightforward – to provide access to affordable legal services for low-income, moderate-income and marginalized individuals, families and communities.

How Can I Help the Mission Waco Legal Services Program?

If you are interested in providing either a monetary donation or your services for the Mission Waco Legal Services program, please contact Kent McKeever at 254-296-9866, extension 214, or via e-mail at kmckeever@missionwaco.org.

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Carmen Smith

Attorney and Counsellor at Law

Carmen primarily practices in the areas of criminal defense, juvenile law, and family law. She is a member of the McLennan County Juvenile Drug Court.

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