Kodiak Daily Mirror - Alaska Bar Association president visits Kodiak
Alaska Bar Association president visits Kodiak
by James Brooks / editor@kodiakdailymirror.com
Sep 26, 2011 | 33 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
KODIAK — Attorney Don McClintock is more excited for this year’s Alaska Federation of Natives convention than most.

McClintock, president of the Alaska Bar Association, is overseeing a free legal services clinic Oct. 20-21 at the convention, which takes place in Anchorage this year. The clinic is a joint effort of Alaska Legal Services, the Alaska Native Justice Center, AFN and the bar association.

McClintock and Krista Scully, director of pro bono, or volunteer, services for the bar association, visited Kodiak Thursday to spread the word about the clinic and to meet with Kodiak attorneys.

McClintock, who lives in Anchorage, said the visit was his fourth to an Alaska community this year.

“It’s an opportunity to get feedback,” he said. “You have that opportunity to interact at bar conventions, but it’s artificial.”

On Thursday morning, McClintock had one-on-one meetings with some attorneys, then had a group lunch with 17 of Kodiak’s 19 practicing lawyers.

Kodiak’s legal community is smaller than those in Anchorage or Fairbanks, but it has its unique aspects.

“I think you have more maritime cases,” he said.

While McClintock gathered feedback from local lawyers, he also encouraged them to donate more time to pro bono events like the AFN clinic.

Scully said the clinic is the first such event and grew out of the bar association’s day of service, a program started two years ago in Anchorage and Juneau to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

“We’ve served several hundred people in Juneau,” Scully said.

There are no plans yet to expand that program to Kodiak, but Scully and McClintock said they hope events like the AFN clinic will allow the bar association to help people who need legal advice for wills and other functions but aren’t able to get it because of distance.

“It’s a brilliant way of providing legal access in rural Alaska,” McClintock said.

AFN attendees interested in the legal clinic are asked to make an advance appointment by emailing eplc@alaskabar.org and including brief information about the case. General legal issues will be addressed Oct. 20 from 1 to 4 p.m., and estate planning and wills will be covered 8-11 a.m., Oct. 21.

Contact Mirror editor James Brooks at editor@kodiak

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