By JAMIE ARNOLD
H.P. Lovecraft once said, “the oldest and strongest fear is fear of the unknown.” To most people, the legal world is a scary place. It can be complex, overwhelming, and terribly expensive. Fortunately, Cherokee has its very own legal assistance office dedicated to providing free legal services to the Cherokee people.
The primary areas of focus for the Legal Assistance office are custody, wills, child maltreatment, abuse and exploitation, and even some aspects of estate administration. Additionally, we assist victims of domestic violence that are referred to us through the Ernestine Walkingstick Shelter. We also try to give general advice in other areas if possible, so even if a question doesn’t directly fit into one of those boxes, we will try to get you pointed in the right direction.
So, what do you do if you have a tricky situation at hand? Give us a call or stop by our office. If no one is available to talk to you right then, make an appointment or leave us a message.
Generally, we represent Cherokee people that could not otherwise afford legal services. However, our overall goal is to serve the greatest number of people with the most critical needs. Although we have experienced trial attorneys on staff, many issues can be resolved by simply providing the right tools or education about an issue. There are also numerous brochures and material available for a variety of legal subjects.
There are a few caveats with our services. Since Cherokee is a relatively small community, we might discover that we have a prior relationship with someone else involved with your case. If that relationship gave some insight that could be perceived as an unfair advantage, then we aren’t allowed to represent you. Nonetheless, we may still be able to provide you with literature that could assist you, as well as information about other lawyers in the area.
We are here to serve the Cherokee people. We have helped hundreds of Cherokee people since our inception. Our mission is to empower Cherokee members and their families by providing meaningful access to the civil justice system.
The Legal Assistance Office is located in the Ginger Lynn Welch Building on Acquoni Road. (828) 359-7400.
Arnold is an attorney with the EBCI Legal Assistance Office.