MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Those at Faulkner Law continue to seek justice and serve their communities through the addition of a fourth pro bono clinic that will help Alabamians legally retain the right to their land that has been in their family for generations.
Called the GAP (Generational and Ancestral Property) Clinic, this clinic is the first of its kind in the state. It’s goal to assist low-income clients in filling gaps in title to their family’s property in order to provide a pathway to financial stability and generational financial health.
The clinic will tie in perfectly with Faulkner Law’s mission, which is Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression, bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”
Beginning in August 2023 for the fall semester, ten students with the GAP clinic will conduct property searches, counsel clients regarding ownership options, litigate or pursue mediation where appropriate and conduct community education events on the importance of clear property ownership.
Professor Kelly McTear, Director of Jones School of Law Public Interest Programs, said a lack of clear property ownership is a widespread issue throughout the rural areas of Alabama.
“There is an astonishing amount of property in the South where the person who was deeded the land died 100 years ago and so that property legally belongs to 50 or more different heirs,” McTear explained. “Those who are paying taxes on the land can’t use it or sell it and are limited with what they can do with it because they don’t actually own the property. Owning land is the best way to improve financial position, and without ownership, you can’t access the value of the property. This is one of the root causes of generational poverty in our state. Through this clinic we hope to be able to provide clear ownership and thus provide generational financial stability for families.”
The GAP clinic will be located at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law on Faulkner University’s campus, 5345 Atlanta Highway, Montgomery, AL 36109. It will initially serve clients in Montgomery and Macon counties.
Those who are interested in acquiring the services of the free GAP clinic may call Faulkner Law at 334-386-7915.