(517) 345-7600

The Law Offices of Donald J. Baranski

Dr. Donald J. Baranski

Attorney and Counselor at Law

Over 30 years of General Practice of Law 

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FREE LEGAL CLINIC

Women's Center of Greater Lansing

1710 East Michigan Avenue

Lansing, MI 48911

BEGINNINGS OF THE LEGAL CLINIC

The Legal Clinic began in September, 2017. This is a totally, volunteer, pro bono effort by Attorney Dr. Donald J. Baranski, and paralegal Julia Wallace in an effort to help those with legal needs for free. There is no funding or financial assistance to the attorneys from any source.

WHEN THE LEGAL CLINIC IS OPEN:

We begin every Friday at 1 p.m. and stop at 3 p.m. However, if a client is at the Legal Clinic before 3 p.m., we do not turn anyone away until everyone is seen. We do not speak to clients by telephone, email, or in our private office for free. We have no problem seeing the same clients with the same legal problem every Friday.

WHAT WE DO AT THE LEGAL CLINIC:

Our primary function is to provide legal advice and guidance to clients in a multitude of situations. Some clients are just looking for legal advice. Some clients are trying to represent themselves in court, and we guide them with the appropriate forms and procedures all the way through their case each week at the Women’s Center.

WHO WE ASSIST:

Although the Legal Clinic is at the Women’s Center, we see men as clients as well. There is no income requirement for our free services. We do not discriminate due to gender, LGBTQ, gender identity, age, income, educational status, mental or physical health.

WHAT WE DO AND NOT DO:

We do not give legal assistance to clients other than at the Legal Clinic on Fridays. We do not want clients calling the law offices. We try to have one or more attorney at the Legal Clinic every Friday. We do assist clients to complete legal forms, and legal pleadings. However, we do NOT appear in court on the behalf of a client.

PROCEDURES:

Upon arrival, if you have not been to the Women’s Center before and completed the intake form, we ask each client to complete a two -sided form for statistical purposes for the Women’s Center to be funded. The client needs to sign the “Sign In” form on the clip board for the Legal Clinic. This tells us how many clients we have each week, and it is also the order in which we call clients to interview. Normally it is first come, first serve. Although we try to be first come first served, sometimes a client needs to go ahead and out of order due to their therapy appointment with a therapist at the Women’s Center, or they need to catch a bus, or they need to get to a homeless shelter by a certain time. We make every effort to see everyone, and to give all clients equal attention.

Depending upon the week, some weeks we have two attorneys and some weeks we only have one attorney. On the weeks that we have only one attorney, the paralegal Julie will interview a client first before the client consults with the attorney to make things move quicker.

CONFIDENTIALITY:

There is total confidentiality between the attorney and the client. Attorneys are never required to disclose any information to anyone under the legal concept of attorney/client privilege.

RETAINING ATTORNEYS:

It is possible to privately retain the attorneys. The primary function of the free legal clinic is to give free legal advice and counsel. However, sometimes the client needs an attorney to represent the them in court. If that is necessary, the client and attorney will discuss what the terms are for private representation. We have a sliding scale on attorney fees for private pay depending upon the client’s income and circumstances.

CANCELLATION:

We try very hard to ensure that every Friday that we have at least one attorney at the Legal Clinic. However, sometimes there are conflicts with the attorneys having to be in court, or vacation, or family issues. We try very hard to cancel the Legal Clinic at least one day in advance. So far, we have been able to be open during most traditional holiday weeks.