WMU-Cooley Law School’s Lansing campus and Cardboard Prophets, a street-based ministry and outreach organization that works with the homeless and families, will co-host its second Street Law Stand Down at Reutter Park in downtown Lansing on Saturday, May 11, from noon-4 p.m. The event pulls together area agencies and resources that will be able to assist area citizens in need, all at one easy-to-find, accessible location.
During the event, WMU-Cooley clinic faculty, attorneys and students will help individuals with various forms and offer referrals in areas of housing rights, criminal expungement, power of attorney, medical directives, and employment law. Individuals seeking legal advice must have their necessary paperwork and documentation upon arrival. Attorneys will be present, but the services being provided do not create an attorney-client relationship. Trained students and staff will ask questions and provide assistance, but cannot give legal advice.
Pictured: Student volunteers from the first Street Law Stand Down in 2018.
“During the first Street Law Stand Down, held in September 2018, 35 individuals received legal guidance,” said Associate Dean Michael McDaniel. “Our hope is to spread the word about this program, and make it as easy as possible for those needing support to come forward. At WMU-Cooley, especially in our clinical programs, we have taught our students that they have to look at clients holistically and not just at a single legal issues. Also, we emphasize how the law, and legal difficulties, are interconnected with many other societal concerns. So when we decided to hold our Street Law Stand Down again, we reached out to agencies and non-profits that share our vision of holistic assistance to the individual for the betterment of the community.”
Other participating organizations providing services include: AARP Foundation (senior services and senior employment), Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (medical), Lansing Board of Water and Light (customer service assistance and energy savers department), Capital Area District Library (assistance with documents for state ID cards), Child & Family Charities, Community Mental Health (medical), Footprints (free shoes), Lansing Safe Families (child care-family assistance), Lovejoy (home care, adult foster care, respite services), Michigan Veterans Affairs (veterans assistance), MSP Angel Program (dependency and addiction assistance), and the Secretary of State (assistance with state ID forms). More agencies may be added to the list as the event draws near.
“As members of the Lansing community, our WMU-Cooley faculty, students, and staff are devoted to helping those in need through various clinics and service projects, including the Street Law Stand Down,” notes McDaniel. “By working with Cardboard Prophets, law students get hands-on legal experience, while at the same time helping individuals who most often come up against obstacles solving major life issues.”
Additionally, Cardboard Prophets will provide a picnic in the park with free meals from the Smoke N' Pig food truck. WMU-Cooley’s Delta Theta Phi fraternity will provide free carnations to all female attendees, in recognition of Mothers Day, and the Student Bar Association is providing bottled water and coffee.
The event is open to everyone and all services are free. Reutter Park is at the corner of Capitol Avenue and Kalamazoo Street, directly south of WMU-Cooley Law School, in downtown Lansing (across from the library). If it rains, the event will be moved to the lobby of the Cooley Center at 300 S. Capitol, Lansing.