10 Who Make A Difference: Volunteer Attorney Program - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

10 Who Make A Difference: Volunteer Attorney Program

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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Our latest recipient of the KTTC/United Way of Olmsted County '10 Who Make A Difference' is the Volunteer Attorney program at Legal Assistance of Olmsted County.

It's a program made up of more than 200 individuals who donate their time to provided legal services to those who can't afford a lawyer.

More than 70 of those volunteer attorneys from the area take on cases for free.

Others participate in free legal clinics to offer advice for those who need help with family law, financial or expungement.

Virginia Merritt is the Executive Director of Legal Assistance of Olmsted County which runs the volunteer attorney program.

"A legal matter and the outcome of that matter can really change the course of a person's life" Merritt said. "So let's say you have a family law matter, you've had custody and then all of sudden the other parent of that child is seeking custody. That really affects that family."

Merritt says in 2012 Legal Assistance of Olmsted County, including the Volunteer Attorney Program helped more than 1,300 clients, and volunteers put in more than 877 hours.

The Volunteer Attorney Program and all of our 10 Who Make a Difference award recipients were honored on the main stage at Rochesterfest Wednesday afternoon.

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