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Pro Se

Posted By Theodore, Apr 5, 2010

Date: March 23, 2010

This was the day after our lengthy and thorough orientation. After the Legal Aid Society's comprehensive overview of many, if not all, of their current programs, the collective consensus was that the Legal Aid Society was and very much is an amazing organization and was more than prepared for putting us to work. Of the programs the Legal Aid Society offered, I chose to do the pro se divorce clinic.

We set up the conference room into separate tables, split into pairs, and waited for our first clients of the day. They walked in, all smiling, some talking with the attorney managing the clinic. A woman wearing a thick jacket befitting the weather sat at our table. After introducing ourselves, we helped her fill out her pro se divorce forms.

The process was quick because the client had filled out a series of questionnaires in preparation of filling out the forms.  In about 20 to 30 minutes, we were done filling out the forms, got the relevant forms notarized in the Legal Aid Society offices, and braved the cold Cleveland weather, walking together towards the clerk's office where our client could file her papers.

Our client was soft spoken and quiet. We waited in line with her at the clerk's office to file her papers. The clerk called her up, she handed in her papers, and with a series of key strokes, stamps, and stickers, the clerk filed her papers, handed her copies, and told her that her case was in her system. On our way out, she thanked us, and we parted our ways. She seemed happy, walking away with a quiet sense of relief in her step.