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Free legal advice available

September 14, 2007

Low-income Washington County residents may seek free legal advice from a Hagerstown attorney once a week at The Washington County Circuit Court Family Law Clinic.

Tiffany Reiff, a Hagerstown attorney, is at Circuit Court, at 95 W. Washington St., on Thursdays from noon to 4 p.m. to help low-income county residents with family law matters at no cost.

Reiff helps applicants on a first-come, first-served basis in Room 229 of the courthouse annex building.

Advice is not given over the phone, said Patti Witmer, Circuit Court family services coordinator.

Reiff or a substitute attorney might have to turn an applicant away due to a conflict of interest, but would refer such clients to another county Family Law Clinic.

Reiff does not go into court with the people she sees at the clinic, but helps them prepare to go to court.

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Reiff helps people fill out forms for divorce, custody and child support, for example. She also helps people gather evidence and determine which evidence is important.

Witmer said local attorneys typically charge $150 to $250 per hour for such services.

Between June 30, 2006, and June 30, 2007, attorneys working for the Family Law Clinic helped 495 people, Witmer said.

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