by Nick Angelides
My experiences in providing pro bono assistance at Utah Legal Services here in Salt Lake City this past year have been most gratifying and interesting.
Generally, I help out a few hours a week in the Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project providing legal services to low income people, mostly seniors, and in the Possession Bond Project by providing representation to low income tenants facing eviction actions at possession bond hearings.
The nature of my work is very interesting. At the SLVP, it is varied but mostly involves estate planning assistance including, e.g., making presentations at senior centers, preparing wills, powers of attorney, living wills, special needs trusts and dealing with problems regarding Medicaid/Medicare and the preservation of assets. Under the laws of this state, there isn’t too much that can be done for those in danger of eviction. Representation here includes exploring possible defenses, insuring procedural safeguards are satisfied, negotiating resolution of disputes and/or minimizing the amount of tenant possession bonds where tenants wish to remain in the property, as well as providing the tenant time to find alternate housing where a move is required.
I find spending time at ULS gratifying in many respects. It is a pleasure working with its extremely competent, dedicated and congenial staff in providing needed services that otherwise would be completely out of reach to clients. Although a lot can be said for compensation in the form of fees, there is also a great value in the satisfaction I and the folks in this organization get back in the form of smiling faces and sincere expressions of gratitude. Most of all, I (rather selfishly) enjoy the good feeling I get in giving something back and in doing something just to be helpful.
Nicholas J. Angelides, “Nick,” is retired both from the Air Force, were he served as a JAG officer, and from service as an Assistant Attorney General with the State of Utah. In between, he served as Bar Counsel for a short time, in private practice and as a civilian attorney in the JAG office at Hill Air Force Base. He volunteers Wednesday and Thursday mornings at SLVP, and Wednesday afternoons he handles Possession Bond cases.