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Utah Legal Services is seeking dedicated individuals to serve in a variety of volunteer positions. Both university students and members of the community are needed to help with legal work, research and general office tasks. Interested individuals are asked to volunteer a minimum of five hours each week.

Volunteers are important, said Carrie Hamilton, paralegal for Utah Legal Services. The volunteers help free up the staff's time so they can serve many more people.The purpose of Utah Legal Services is to help meet the legal needs of low-income individuals and senior citizens. Utah Legal Services deals with civil law issues such as fair housing, consumer issues, senior citizen rights and abuse.

Due to the type of work done by Utah Legal Services, there is a special need for law or paralegal students and individuals with back-grounds in research. As an essential part of the program, volunteers also gain valuable knowledge and experience working in the legal field. Volunteers should be 18 years of age or older and can volunteer any time Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Training is available for all volunteers.

Volunteer opportunities are available throughout Utah County. Some of these opportunities are listed below.

Be a mentor for young women in Utah County. Women in Community Service needs volunteer mentors to give one-on-one attention to disadvantaged young women between the ages of 16 and 24. These young women have just completed a program that helped them earn their GED and learn marketable trades and skills. Volunteers may help by giving advice and being a friend. Those who serve should relate well to disadvantaged youth. A training booklet and telephone instruction are available to volunteers. Service can be given over the phone and hours are determined by the participants.

Help victims of domestic violence. These individuals provide invaluable support for victims of rape and domestic violence. Volunteers are needed to work once a week for four hours. Training is provided.

Provide a listening ear for hospice patients. Great opportunities to visit with hospice patients are available through the IHC Home Health Program. Volunteers provide necessary companionship and respite care, including reading to or talking with patients. The hours that an individual can volunteer are flexible and extensive training is provided.

For more information about these and other volunteer opportunities throughout Utah County, please call the United Way Volunteer Center at 374-8108.