New Zion delivers lawful expert services to Rockford citizens

ROCKFORD — Prison defendants throughout the U.S. have a constitutional ideal to cost-free, legal representation in court docket, but that’s not the case with civil matters these types of as divorce, kid aid or disputes involving landlords and tenants.

As daily life-altering as individuals proceedings and their outcomes could be on the parties concerned and their households, hundreds of thousands of men and women across the place generally go with out legal advice in civil conditions, a thing the Rev. Ken Copeland, pastor of New Zion Missionary Baptist Church, hopes to transform in Rockford with the introduction of Administer Justice.

Administer Justice, a Christian-centered countrywide nonprofit headquartered in Elgin, offers totally free lawful expert services to those people who can’t afford to pay for to seek the services of lawyers.

“This is an chance for the church to offer you hope and real assistance to individuals who have been priced out of our legal process,” said Copeland, who is also a attorney.

The Rev. K. Edward Copeland

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Copeland labored with associates of his church and Administer Justice President and CEO Bruce Strom before this calendar year to start the New Zion Legal Clinic, which is run out of Copeland’s church on the city’s west side.

Region residents can meet with lawyers for absolutely free from 9 a.m. to noon on the 2nd Saturday of every month at New Zion, 4747 W. Riverside Blvd., or almost. Appointments are essential and can be manufactured on-line.

The 21-calendar year-old organization is performing with churches around the country to deploy cost-free legal methods into communities of need.

“We actually have a great justice method, but not if you won’t be able to access it,” Strom said. “Not if you can’t gain the data you have to have for simple solutions and for essential rights.”

Justice champions

Justine Alfaro, Justice Center program director, and Bruce Strom, president and CEO of Administer Justice, helped launch the New Zion Legal Clinic in May 2021 in Rockford

New Zion member Bryanna Herron, proprietor of Rose Paralegal & Typing Solutions, has been a paralegal for 18 several years, which include 10 years doing the job for Black and Jones Attorneys at Regulation, a individual damage and staff payment law business in Rockford.

She not too long ago moved out of condition, but thanks to virtual engineering, she is however able to serve the clinic as its “justice winner,” a liaison between the church and the Administer Justice group.