TAMPA — Personal injury law, civil rights restoration and the Fair Housing Program were on the class schedule for participants at a legal seminar hosted by the George Edgecomb Bar Association on Saturday.
The group, which describes itself as the area’s largest, predominantly black voluntary bar association, hosted its annual workshop at the University Area Community Development Center.
This year’s crowd of about 25 participants was smaller than usual, organizers said, but they still came with questions and a need for free legal advice.
“The classes have been well-received,” said Henry Gyden, one of the organizers. “We’ve been getting a lot of really interesting questions.”
The seminar, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., included sessions on topics such as IRS disputes, code enforcement, Social Security and disability policies. Classes on foreclosure and bankruptcy issues and criminal law — typically the most popular, organizers said — were held twice.
Larry Stevenson, an engineer, came to learn. He wanted to know about issues related to his field, but also to get general information about his legal rights.
Many times, people don’t know what their legal rights are until they have a legal problem.
“It’s not something that you learn in school,” he said.
The seminars are a way to get legal information to people who otherwise might not have access to it, said Kamilah Perry, co-chair of the event.
“It’s really meant to be informational and educational,” she said.
Lutrena McNair used the seminar as an opportunity to network and learn more about legal issues related to her career in residential real estate. She also had questions about legal issues relating to her personal life, as she currently is working on transferring some of her grandfather’s property into her father’s name.
The event is useful to people who need to know how to handle the legal issues they are commonly faced with, McNair said.
“It gives people an idea where to start,” she said.