Legal Aid launches general “Ask a Lawyer” session on Facebook
Community Legal Aid is hosting a new, free monthly session on Facebook where anyone can ask a lawyer questions they have.
This general Q&A session is an expansion of Legal Aid’s “Ask a Lawyer” live series, which the nonprofit law firm launched on Facebook last spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, these sessions have reached nearly 80,000 people on the social media platform.
When Legal Aid started their Facebook live sessions, the goal was to bring timely information to people on real issues they were facing from the pandemic, explained Steven McGarrity, Legal Aid’s executive director.
The nonprofit law firm focused on things like evictions, unemployment, stimulus payments, and domestic violence.
“Things were changing quickly, and people were looking for information they could trust,” McGarrity said. “This gave us a platform to share information in real time so people could take advantage of programs that could help them survive the public health crisis.”
The new general Q&A session, offered the third Wednesday of each month at 5:00 p.m., will be different in that it won’t focus on a specific topic — instead, people can ask questions about any area of civil law they want. A panel of Legal Aid lawyers will be online to answer audience questions live.
“The pandemic has made everyone’s lives more difficult,” McGarrity said. “This is one thing we can do to try to make things easier for people — just be there to answer whatever questions they have.”
McGarrity said his organization continues to evaluate and track community needs as the landscape surrounding the pandemic shifts.
One way Legal Aid is doing this is by asking residents to submit any legal questions they have through Facebook. People are encouraged to send private messages or respond to surveys Legal Aid is posting, with questions about their housing, family issues, debt or loss of income, taxes, stimulus checks, public benefits programs, and more.
“We just want people to know we’re here, that they’re not alone,” McGarrity said.