By Cherri Gregg

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Drexel University’s Kline School of Law opened a free community legal clinic to serve the residents in the Mantua and Powelton Village neighborhoods of West Philadelphia.

The new service fills a wide void.

“I was just blessed to meet the girl,” says Mantua resident Carole Dudley, “I just thank God for it.”

Dudley called Friday her lucky day because she received free assistance and referral on estate planning and workman’s compensation issues that have been on her to do list for more than a year.

“I’ve been trying to find legal help for a long time,” she said, “and haven’t been able to find it.”

“We’ve really seen a range of issues from immigration to family law,” says Gabrielle Nonnenberg-Reid, who’s in her third year at Drexel Law, “specifically divorce.”

Nonnenberg-Reid says there’s great need for legal services.

“A lot of people fall into that gap where you can’t afford an attorney,” she says, “and you don’t know where to go.”

Professor Rachel Lopez supervises the Clinic in the Dornsife Center at 35th and Spring Garden Streets. She says it’s Drexel’s way of giving back.

“To show the community that we are here to support them,” Lopez says.

The Community Lawyering Clinic is open five days a week. The clinic will host a community legal training on November 4th.

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