Bernalillo County holding free legal clinic for families seeking guardianship over children

Many children in our community may be living under the care of their grandparents, without their parents being involved.

However, a free legal clinic is being held Thursday, June 14 and is hoping to show those families how to gain legal access for children.

Bernalillo County families will get legal advice that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to, without incurring significant cost. 

It’s free for residents thanks to UNM law students who are heading up the pop-up clinic.

“It let’s law students like myself get into the field and practice what we’ve been learning these few years. More importantly, it gives us the opportunity to give back to the community and really help the community,” said Taylor Bui, UNM law student.

Students will look at what that family needs, help them find the right paperwork, then get it filed.

The clinic will give them information about how they can gain legal rights to make decisions for that child, whether that be by filling out a caregiver affidavit, a power of attorney, or potentially pursuing guardianship for these children. 

Officials say it can be a tricky situation for many of these families, who want to be more involved in the child’s education, but don’t know how due to their situation.

They say that is why they’re holding this legal clinic.

“They can access services once they have custody or kinship rights to their children. It also makes them more comfortable to get involved in the school,”

Six UNM students will be on hand at the Community Legal Clinic pop-up event. 

It will be held at the Los Padillas Community Center from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday.

Officials say anybody who needs assistance is welcome to attend.

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