The Pryor Times

April 27, 2009

Calling a lawyer for free legal advice


Oklahoma lawyers will offer free legal advice through a toll-free hotline Thursday, April 30, from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. The statewide hotline will be staffed by Oklahoma City and Tulsa attorneys. The toll-free number to call is (800) 456-8525.

Mayes County Bar Association members will also be available to take calls locally. Callers will reach an attorney in Pryor. The local number to call is (918) 825-1790, and it will be staffed from 6:30 to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

This is the 31st year the Oklahoma Bar Association has offered the service as part of the state and national celebration of Law Day.

“Hundreds of attorneys have volunteered their time to answer callers’ legal questions at no cost,” said OBA President Jon Parsley of Guymon. “We hope all Oklahomans will take part in this great community service. It’s all part of our annual Law Day effort to educate the public more about their rights and the role the legal system plays in our lives.”

Mayes County Bar President James Goodpaster has appointed Jessica Carriger as county Law Day chairperson. The Law Day chairperson works in conjunction with the state bar’s Law Day Committee to coordinate the Ask A Lawyer call-in event. The state committee is chaired by Oklahoma City lawyer Tina Izadi.

Spanish speakers may call the free legal advice hotline, where Spanish-speaking attorneys and translators will be available to take calls.

The accompanying “Ask A Lawyer” television program will air April 30 at 7 p.m. on OETA stations across the state. The show is designed to share information about legal issues in easy-to-understand language.

Though Law Day is celebrated across the country, it was Wewoka attorney and 1953 OBA President Hicks Epton who originally had the idea of celebrating the law and how it affects lives. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day nationally by proclamation in 1958; in 1961 Congress set aside the first of May as a day for the American people to celebrate their liberties and their ideals of equality and justice under the law. In 2005, the American Bar Association honored the OBA with the Outstanding Law Day Activity Award.

The Ask A Lawyer free legal advice project is one of several events in which Oklahoma lawyers participate in observance of Law Day. This year, more than 2,200 students statewide entered Law Day art and writing contests. Other students are taking part in various Law Day activities, such as classroom visits from lawyers and judges, an online citizenship test, and learning how legal rights and obligations change after one’s 18th birthday. More information about Law Day is available on the OBA Web site at www.okbar.org.

The 16,000-member Oklahoma Bar Association, headquartered in Oklahoma City, was created by the Oklahoma Supreme Court to advance the administration of justice and to foster and maintain learning, integrity, competence, public service and high standards of conduct among Oklahoma's legal community.