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VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP | Thousand Oaks

Free Legal Clinic Needs Volunteers

October 16, 2000|JOSH GOLDSTEIN

For the past three years, Wallace Friedman has been meeting with people at the Conejo Free Clinic twice a month to answer questions about the often complicated realm of the legal system.

"Everyone needs some kind of representation," he said.

Friedman, 69, practiced law in the San Fernando Valley for 30 years before retiring.

Volunteering to help people who don't have money to pay for legal advice is a crucial service in the community, Friedman said. The clinic is always interested in finding more lawyers and paralegals willing to give time.

For 25 years, the Conejo Free Clinic has provided basic legal counseling starting at 7 p.m. on the first four Tuesdays of every month.

Area lawyers and one paralegal provide guidance on a variety of matters, from bankruptcy to landlord-tenant disputes, said Sharron Baird, the clinic's executive director.

"The legal system is often very scary and intimidating," she said. "Many people don't know what their rights are."

The clinic, at 80 E. Hillcrest Drive, Suite 102, Thousand Oaks, does not take reservations and asks for a $5 donation for each session, Baird said.

People typically spend 20-25 minutes in a private meeting with a lawyer, Baird said.

Lawyers and paralegals interested in volunteering or those wanting more information are asked to call 497-3575.

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