The William Booth Legal Aid Clinic was founded in 1994 by Robert and Ellen Dickman, with the goal of paving the way to fresh starts and new opportunities for those struggling with addiction. In addition to assisting those participating in the Salvation Army treatment programs, the Clinic expanded its mission to provide quality legal services to low income individuals, families, and U.S. Military Veterans in our community. As Director, attorney Amy M. Roemer continues this mission by leading a small team of attorneys, students, and staff to assist clients in resolving legal issues in and out of the courtroom.
The WBLAC works together with the Salvation Army's Harbor Light Program, homeless shelters, Transitional Housing Program for Homeless Veterans, Adult Rehabilitation Centers and other similar projects in addition to the services offered to indigent clients throughout the community. The WBLAC is involved in various community outreach efforts including collaborations with several community services organizations, providing services to best meet the overall needs of each client. The WBLAC has participated in outreach events involving Oakland County Circuit Court, Wayne County Circuit Court, The Wayne County Friend of the Court, Wayne County Mental Health Treatment Court, Head Start, Smart-Detroit, Veterans Hospital, Detroit Public Library, MentorJet, Wayne County LEAD Partnership, Wayne County Community College, UAW, Focus Hope, The United States Probation Office, and Clear Core -Breaking The Cycle.
The WBLAC is affiliated with the Metro Detroit law schools offering practical experience opportunities including internships, externships, and work-study programs. WBLAC currently teaches the Family Law Clinic at University Of Detroit Mercy School of Law. Additionally, the Clinic participates in public interest fairs and other law school related events. The WBLAC has been teaching student volunteers since its inception in 1994. To date, the clinic has mentored more than 200 students, who have volunteered over 35,000 hours.
The clinic has now resolved over 20,000 issues impacting our community including homelessness, domestic violence, child abuse and neglect, consumer advocacy, and the legal issues of our U.S. Military Veterans.
With offices in Detroit and Pontiac, the Clinic also is guided by the WBLAC Advisory Board; a diverse panel of local lawyers, business people and esteemed members of the Metropolitan Detroit Judiciary, including Hon. Robert J. Colombo Jr., Hon. Fred Mester, Hon. Denise Langford Morris, and Hon. Maria Oxholm.