Free law clinic will set up shop in City Hall

By David Piestrzynski
Special to The Review

The University of Detroit-Mercy’s Immigration Law Clinic is coming to Hamtramck, free of charge.

The clinic, run by students and professors from U-D Mercy’s Law School, offers legal advice on several immigration topics such as asylum, deportation and citizenship petitions.

The free sessions will be held at City Hall, and will run the last Wednesday of every month starting April 27 and ending on Nov. 30 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The clinic had been making stops all over metro Detroit, until Hamtramck Police Lt. Max Garbarino, a U-D law student who has participated in the program, asked “Why not Hamtramck?”

“I noticed they were going everywhere except for Hamtramck,” Garbarino said.

He helped to open the lines of communication between Hamtramck city officials and David Koelsch, U-D Mercy law professor and director of the Immigration Law Clinic, about the possibility of the clinic visiting Hamtramck.

With the support of city officials, some space was soon made available on the second floor of the City Council Chambers for the scheduled sessions.
“Anyone willing to provide services to the people in Hamtramck we support 100 percent,” said City Manager Bill Cooper. “It’s a great thing.”

Also, the clinic could be offering more than legal advice to some people.

Garbarino, who has worked on a handful of the cases, said that while the clinic primarily answers questions and offers advice, they do sometimes take on cases. This service is also free.

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