Twenty-nine members of the MBA volunteered for the Western Massachusetts Dial-A-Lawyer program on May 8, fielding more than 300 phone calls.
The program was the seventh annual call-in effort organized by the MBA's Springfield office. It was co-sponsored by the Western New England College School of Law and the Springfield Union-News and Sunday Republican.
In all, 304 residents of Western Massachusetts took advantage of the free legal counseling. Many of the calls concentrated on personal-finance matters dealing with bankruptcy, credit card bills, mortgages, divorce, and wills and trusts.
Atty. Jeffrey A. Burstein of Springfield, one of the participating MBA lawyers, said he even took a call from a woman he spoke with during last year-s Dial-A-Lawyer event. She had follow-up questions on a personal-injury case resulting from a car accident.
"There should be public funding for people who cannot afford to hire an attorney. But because that support is not there, statewide or nationally, the MBA's Dial-A-Lawyer program is a necessity," said Atty. Colleen Currie of Northampton.
Pat Plasse, MBA Western Massachusetts office manager, said the success of the May program will lead to another Dial-A-Lawyer day in October.
"This program provides a valuable service to residents of Western Massachusetts by offering free legal advice from attorneys with a variety of backgrounds," Plasse said. "This was a great opportunity for the public to take advantage of attorneys' expertise."