~ By Cheong Yaoming ~
In February 2012, the National Solidarity Party (NSP) launched its own Legal Clinic, to provide free legal consultation by qualified volunteer lawyers to Singaporeans who cannot afford to see a lawyer. Five months on, this community service has blossomed and saw it biggest turnout yet in its latest session held on 4 June 2012.
At the NSP headquarters, the conference room was used as a waiting area and pre-interview venue. Volunteers talked to those who were seeking help and summarised the information for the volunteer lawyers.
On that night the both rooms and a makeshift consulting area, a table with two chairs in the middle of the hallway, were used. Despite the spartan set-up, operations ran smoothly and efficiently. More importantly, everyone who turned up for help were attended to, and there was palpable relief and some smiling faces as they left.
Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss, who spearheads this community service, said "There are many people in Singapore who need legal advice but cannot afford it. I feel this Legal Clinic can help fill some of that gap." When asked how their Legal Clinic compared to similar ones out there, Jeannette said "Our Legal Clinic is open to all Singaporeans and the motivation behind this project is not political. Similar to clinics like the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme for example, ours is pro bono and aimed at serving the community."
The Legal Clinic runs every first Monday of the month and operates on a first come first served basis. For more information and details on how to register, please see the FAQ below.
NSP COMMUNITY SERVICE - FREE LEGAL CLINIC FAQ
This community service by NSP is open to all Singapore Citizens who do not have the means to pay for legal advice. You do not need to be a member of NSP to consult with our Legal Clinic lawyers.
The Legal Clinic provides registrants with a face-to-face consultation session with a qualified volunteer lawyer. No advice will be given over the telephone, via email or by correspondence.
The Legal Clinic
• Does not provide legal representation to carry out any legal action.
• Does not provide legal consultation for inquires relating to Criminal Offences and Business Law.
• May decline to provide consultation for areas of law which are outside the expertise of the attending volunteer lawyer.
Consultations will be held at the National Solidarity Party premises at No. 397, Jalan Besar, #02-01A, Singapore 209007.
As consultations are by appointment only and you can register for a consultation at the NSP’s Legal Clinic by sending your full name, NRIC number and a brief description of the legal inquiry to: [email protected]