An 'Ask the Lawyer' event was held on September 15th at The Community House in Birmingham, from Noon-5pm. 34 lawyers in 30 practice areas answered at least 165 legal questions of the guests who attended the event. I worked the registration table at the event and noticed a steady stream of people the entire time. At some points there were long lines at our registration desk, but the guests were patient and grateful for their opportunity to speak with a lawyer for free. A few guests arrived an hour early and stayed almost until the end. Many guests took advantage of the opportunity to ask multiple legal questions from lawyers in different practice areas.
One guest remarked, " It was beyond helpful for myself, and so many others, to have access to every type of lawyer imaginable for some free advice." Another said, " It was worth the wait! I got all my questions answered, and it was a WONDERFUL event!"
Guests could ask lawyers questions about starting a business, real estate, Bankruptcy, divorce, estate planning, criminal matters or traffic tickets, Immigration, Intellectual Property, personal injury matters, tax disputes, and more. "The real estate, business law, employment law, civil litigation, and injury law attorneys seemed to be among the busiest lawyers at the event. Some lawyers had appointments with guests every 15 minutes," according to Elizabeth Silverman.
The event was hosted by the General Practice and Solo/Small Firm Section of the State Bar of Michigan. The event committee included Martin Fried as Chair, Elizabeth Silverman, Lori Williams, Tanisha Davis, and Bill Roy. "Everything went smoothly and we had lots more guests than we hoped for. The question we were asked most often by attorneys and guests alike was 'when are we going to do this again?' The Committee needs a bit of recovery time before we tackle that question," said Fried.
The Community House was a great venue to have the event. Brett Nicholson and other staff worked tirelessly to meet our needs. They also promoted our event in their Fall Catalog mailed to 52,000 households, and emailed an event announcement to 17,000 subscribers the week of the event.
We also had great media coverage leading up to the event, which definitely helped our attendance. I was interviewed by Fox 2, MEA TV and Radio, Financial Crisis Talk Center (WDFN and rebroadcast on TV 20), It’s Your Community on 96.3, and Sunday Edition with Alisa Zee (radio). We also had a few mentions in the Oakland Press, Detroit News/Free Press. The word got out through ads, media exposure, The Community House mailing and email promotion, flyers, and our social media postings. It was a team effort between the lawyers, the community, and the media and we can all collectively take credit for the success of the event.
For more information, click here to view the event flyer and some of the participants at the event.