The Third Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee and the Madison County Bar Association are holding a seminar next month to train more lawyers to help those who need family law advice in the Circuit's Pro Bono programs.

"The demand for appointments to answer family law questions in the Legal Advice Clinic is huge and a number of attorneys requested additional training in order to volunteer for these appointments," said Circuit Judge Barbara Crowder, chair of the Third Circuit Pro Bono Committee.

The program was designed by Crowder and Joan Spiegel, director of Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation. Spiegel also heads the Madison County Bar Association's pro bono efforts.

The training is called Pro Bono Advice: Effectively Handling Legal Advice Clinic Family Appointments. The seminar will be held from 1 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. on Sept. 7 in the Madison County Board room, and is free with three hours MCLE credit.

These efforts support the Legal Advice Clinic held in the Madison County Law Library on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month.

The speakers/volunteers scheduled for next month's seminar teach attorneys how to answer the most commonly asked legal questions about family law.

Speakers will be: Christine Kovach from Mathis, Marifian & Richter in Edwardsville who will discuss paternity cases; Gail Donnelly Bader from Bader Law Offices in Alton who will explain child support law; Rick Steiger of Steiger Law Office in Edwardsville who will instruct on custody and visitation issues; Amy Morgan from Land of Lincoln will tell about obtaining and defending orders of protection under the Illinois Domestic Violence Act; and Crowder, along with Spiegel, who will cover the remaining areas of general information that are frequently asked at appointments including those on health insurance and college expenses.

To register for this free seminar, attorneys should contact Betsy Mahoney, law librarian, at 618-296-5921 or email

Each registrant will need to provide name, bar registration number, e-mail and telephone number and to be prepared to sign up for a one-hour appointments at the Legal Advice Clinic by the end of 2012.

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