“Step Up” lawyer volunteers help women in need

parking meterSay what you want about lawyers, they can be useful.

The Association of Women Lawyers of  Greater Kansas City has worked with city prosecutors, judges and city court staff to resolve tickets for more than 50 local women, the city reports today in a press release.

According to the release:

Unpaid traffic and parking tickets and associated warrants can keep the women from getting jobs or social service benefits.

The summer Step Up program used more than 40 volunteer lawyers and law students to help the women getting services from Operation Breakthrough and 15 area shelters for domestic violence victims.

“They live in fear of being arrested but cannot turn themselves in because they also cannot afford to pay the associated fines and costs,” said Courtney Wachal, assistant city prosecutor and board member of the women lawyers group.

The women get probation and community service and are able to address ticket problems that have plagued them for years.

The program partners with the nonprofit Connections to Success, which offers the women classes on life plans and job-seeking skills like resume preparation and proper dress.

Completion of the classes is a condition of probation.

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