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Family Justice Bus offers free legal advice, income tax assistance

February 11, 2011

The Family Justice Bus at the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University will offer free legal advice and self-help information relating to bankruptcy, unemployment insurance, domestic violence, consumer rights, service member rights and income tax preparation to the community of Globe on March 5.

The Family Justice Bus, which provides various free legal information to the public, will be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Holy Angels School at 1300 E. Cedar St.

Michelle Roddy, the College of Law’s Assistant Director of Pro Bono and Public Interest Programs, expressed the school’s excitement for the Family Justice Bus’ upcoming trip to Globe, which lacks easy access to free or low-cost legal information.

“The area has very high unemployment rates, and we know there are many people in desperate need of free access to legal information,” Roddy said. “We are looking forward to reaching as many of them as we can.”

The program’s students also were excited about the ability to offer assistance to those living in Globe, student Kyle Robertson said.

“We are hoping for a big turnout and the chance to make a positive impact for the Globe community,” said Robertson, a second-year law student.

The Family Justice Bus offers community members assistance, guidance and the opportunity to learn about key legal issues like bankruptcy and unemployment insurance, student Stephanie McCoy Loquvam said.

“The personal nature of these issues and the ‘unknown’ of the legal system can be daunting,” said Loquvam, a third-year law student. “Our goal is to empower citizens to achieve resolutions and access benefits that are available.”

The following sessions are scheduled:

• Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (requires appointment):

Free help for people with low to moderate incomes who need assistance completing their tax returns. Volunteers are trained to prepare basic tax returns for:

- Individuals with a yearly income of less than $49,000 

- International students who do not qualify as residents for tax purposes
- Self-employed taxpayers with expenses totaling less than $5,000 and no losses

• Wills for Heroes (requires appointment):

Free estate planning legal services to first responder personnel in Arizona. For more information, please visit

• 10 a.m – Unemployment Insurance:

How to apply for unemployment insurance and use the appeals process through the Department of Economic Security
o Individual consultations are available for those struggling with unemployment insurance applications or the appeals process. An appointment is required.

• 11 a.m. – Bankruptcy:

A brief overview of relief available to consumers in financial trouble, including various types of bankruptcies as well as the benefits, repercussions and eligibility for these programs. The presentation will conclude with a short question-and-answer session regarding the general bankruptcy process

• Noon – Consumer Advocacy:

An overview of certain consumer protection laws, including debt collection and landlord/tenant matters

• 1 p.m. – Domestic Violence:

A presentation on issues of child custody, divorce, orders of protection and other family law matters

• 2 p.m – Civil Support for Service Members:

Information about some of the unique consumer, housing and employment protections for military families

For more information, please visit To RSVP for a presentation or set up an appointment, e-mail or call (480) 965-4450. Please include your name and contact information. If you are looking for tax assistance, please also include the types of tax forms you have (such as W2, 1099, 1098, SSA, SSI etc.).

The Family Justice Bus is organized by the student-run Consumer Advocacy Protection Program and is supported by donations from the Shoumaker Family and other partners.

Staci McCabe,
Office of Communications, College of Law