Bilingual Paralegal Services in Mott Haven

Rachel Batista, Elaine Castillo and Swannie Batista. (Photo courtesy of Paralegals for the Community)

Sensing a need in the community of Mott Haven, three young paralegals, bilingual in Spanish and English, in the fall launched a company called Paralegals for the Community, reports Eileen Sepulveda in Mott Haven Herald.  Sisters Swannie and Rachel Batista, and Elaine Castillo, all in their early 30s, are already seeing 15 to 20 clients a day at their location in The Hub.

With experience gained in working with The Bronx Defenders and at the Dearie Law Firm, the paralegals are able to assist clients with the completion and submission of documents for uncontested divorces, personal injury claims and green card renewals. The three make sure that clients understand that they cannot provide legal advice or representation in court. “If anything is too complex and we feel we cannot help, we recommend they seek legal counsel,” Swannie Batista told Mott Haven Herald.

One of those clients, Johanny Abreu De Vega, 25, is the single mother of a three year old. She said she felt lost when the lawyers she initially consulted told her she would be charged at least $800 to file for divorce. The Dominican-born single mom’s visa expired this year, after two years in New York City.

[Paralegals for the Community] processed her divorce and visa renewal within two months. She was relieved at how quickly and inexpensively the process was completed, and is scheduled to be fingerprinted by the end of this month.

What might a lawyer charge for a green card renewal? And how is Paralegals for the Community getting clients? Go to Mott Haven Herald to find out.

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