March & April




In March, we were honored to receive a donation from Big Truck Rental in Tampa, Florida. Even more heartwarming than this donation is the story behind it. The donation came from a former Legal Services’ client, Amy Seals.


Amy came to St. Louis in 2014 as a student from Mexico. She met a local man and married him in 2017. Cracks soon appeared in the relationship, and Amy began to suffer domestic abuse.

Above: Robert Boedeker, Amy Seals & Amanda Williams

She says, “Looking back, the relationship was never good from the start, but he always convinced me to stay."

Once married, the abuse escalated. Amy says, “He would alternate between being nice and then abuse and using my visa status as a weapon to keep me there – he said I had no value without him.” With no family in St. Louis, she was largely isolated by her partner.


In 2019, she called the Domestic Violence Hotline and was referred to Safe Connections and to Legal Services of Eastern Missouri for help. She was represented in her divorce case by Robert Boedeker, Co-Manager of the Lasting Solutions Family Law Program. Amanda Williams, Senior Staff Attorney with the Immigration Law Program, helped her obtain US residency.


Throughout this process, she continued to be harassed and intimidated by her ex-partner and his family but remained steadfast in her determination to leave the relationship. She was granted a divorce in 2021 and permanent residency in 2023. Shortly after, she moved to Tampa, Florida to begin a new life. Now a sales rep for Big Truck Rental, she is recently married and is expecting her first child.


At Big Truck Rental, Amy serves on the “Give Bigger” committee, which is committed to philanthropy. She says, “Scott Dols, our founder and CEO, is truly committed to giving back to the community and is very generous in supporting the communities we do business with.”


“Knowing that I can support work that makes such a vital change in the lives of people who were in my situation is so important to me,” she adds. “I really appreciate all you did to support and encourage me to move on to a safer, happier life. Even though I’m in a good relationship now, I never have to feel like I’m nothing without a partner again.”


We extend a huge thank you to Amy for her courage in sharing her story

and to Big Truck Rental for their generosity.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, contact

the National Domestic Violence Hotline today at 800.799.7233.



Since the end of 2022, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has been operating an outreach table at the 22nd Judicial Circuit Court of St. Louis, in partnership with New Covenant Legal Services (NCLS). This outreach table is located on the 8th floor of the Civil Courts Building, where where most cases involve landlord-tenant disputes and consumer law issues.

At this outreach table,

staff provide information about legal rights, court-approved forms and instructions, general information about court practice and rules, and docketed case information about the litigant's case.

While staff cannot provide specific legal advice to litigants, they do provide referrals to Legal Services so litigants can apply for free legal assistance.

Staff usually cover the dockets assigned to bulk-filings for evictions and debt matters, as these are the times they see most people in need of help. Both attorneys and other legal professionals - including paralegals, social workers and other legal admin staff – participate in this outreach effort, and everyone receives specialized training prior to their session. 

These court tabling sessions are coordinated by Trevor Wieprecht, staff attorney with Legal Services’ Consumer Law Program. Trevor says “The Court table provides pro se litigants information that would not otherwise be available to them and ensures that the pro se litigants have similar footing as the landlords or debt buyers.”

Above: Legal Services' Earlene Bolton & Lucy McCalpin staff the court table.


395 people helped at 82 different court tabling sessions.

So far in 2024

178 people helped at 24 different court tabling sessions.


April1st marks the start of the Young Friends of Legal Services annual Supplies Drive, to restock the Legal Services Social Work closet for clients.

Many of our clients struggle to afford food, rent and utilities, and often personal care items and cleaning supplies are just beyond reach. These items are essential to personal well-being and maintaining a household, but are not able to be purchased with food stamps. This support can offer a small relief to families in need.

We are also happy to announce the launch of our Amazon Wish List, where at any time, anyone can purchase household supplies to be shipped directly to Legal Services to help clients in need!

If you would like to donate to the Young Friends Supplies Drive - or provide year-round support for Legal Services - CLICK HERE to check out our Amazon Wish List now.

If you would like to learn more about the Young Friends Supplies Drive, please contact Laura Halfmann-Morris at




Right: Natali Sonntag, Amanda Williams & Diana Gutierrez

Since the summer of 2023, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri has been staffing monthly legal clinics in partnership with Saint Louis Crisis Nursery’s Latinx Outreach Program.

At these clinics, Crisis Nursery clients have the opportunity to speak to a lawyer about legal issues they are experiencing and to get valuable legal information and referrals.

Amanda Williams, Senior Staff Attorney with Legal Services’ Immigration Law Program, has provided help for approximately 24 clients so far in a range of topics including citizenship assistance, referrals for asylum cases, support and resources for families experiencing domestic violence and other family law matters. She says, “I am so excited to partner with the Latinx Outreach Program. They provide essential services to the growing Hispanic community in St. Louis and their assistance to this population is invaluable.”


For the past eight years, the Latinx Outreach Program has provided crisis intervention and family empowerment services to help prevent child abuse and to provide safety and stability for new immigrant families in St. Louis. These legal clinics developed as an extension of the services they offer.


Natali Sonntag, Latinx Outreach Program Manager, says, “Our goals at the Latinx Outreach Program align with our mission to help prevent child abuse and aid families in self-empowerment and increased stability. This collaboration supports these goals as it enables our clients to make better educated choices regarding legal issues, reduces stress through education, and allows parents’ to better understand their rights and responsibilities within the United States as opposed to their home country.”


Diana Gutierrez, Latinx Social Worker, adds, “Clients have repeatedly expressed their deep gratitude for Amanda’s guidance, her willingness to listen and the understanding of legal issues she is able to leave them with at the end of every session. Amanda has also provided myself and my coworkers with legal education that better enables us to guide and educate our own clients, allowing them to have more certainty in an otherwise strange, new world.”


These clinics are just one example of the importance of working with our nonprofit partners to help support the community we serve and to ensure access to justice is available to everyone.


Celebrating Legal Services Staff:

Years of Service Milestones

In February, we celebrated 16 staff members for their landmark years of service.

We are so thankful to them for their dedication to our mission of providing ACTION. JUSTICE. HOPE.!

Topping the bill were Bernadette Dunigan, Patricia Harris and Joyce Walker with 25 years of service each, closely followed by Missy Waldman with 20 years of service, and Lindsay Hippler and Maggie LaMore with 10 years of service.

Celebrating 5 years of service were Emily Autrey, Leslie Calandro, Lisa D'Souza, Marlene Elliott, Peter Hoffman, Sarah Jappa, Amy Kester, Terry Lawson, Kate Tucker & Amanda Williams.

Please join us in congratulating all these staff on their outstanding commitment to providing equal access to justice for all!

Back row, left to right: Emily Autrey, Terry Lawson, Amanda Williams, Lindsay Hippler, Maggie LaMore, Kate Tucker, Amy Kester, Leslie Calandro.

Front row, left to right: Missy Waldman, Marlene Elliott, Lisa D'Souza, Bernadette Dunigan, Patricia Harris.

Not pictured: Joyce Walker, Peter Hoffman and Sarah Jappa.


Legal Internships, St. Louis, MO

Unpaid internships are available and offer valuable legal experience for law students in a range of different program areas. CLICK HERE for details.


Young Friends of Legal Services Annual CLE

This annual CLE Session will be held as an online webinar on: Friday, May 10, 2024 at Noon.

The theme this year will be ways to engage in and maximize your benefits from pro bono service.

Registration and details to be updated soon HERE

Hon. Richard B. Teitelman Memorial Seminar

This annual CLE Seminar, hosted by The Simon Law Firm, P.C., will be held as an online webinar on:

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

Registration and details to be updated soon HERE

Planned Giving CLE

This annual Legal Services CLE Session, co-hosted by Burger Law, will be held as an online webinar on:

Thursday, June 27, 2024

Registration and details to be updated soon HERE

For The Common Good Awards Luncheon

Save the date for Legal Services' annual recognitions of our volunteers and community partners on:

Thursday, August 22, 2024 at the Ritz Carlton.

Registration and details to be updated soon HERE.





Interested in Legacy Giving?

Legacy Giving is a great way to protect access to justice for the clients and communities we serve. 

A Legacy Gift to Legal Services of Eastern Missouri will support the vision of equal access to justice for all for future generations.

Learn More about Legacy Giving

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri

701 Market Street, Suite 1100

St. Louis, MO 63101

314.534.4200 / 800.444.0514

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Serving 21 counties with ACTION. JUSTICE. HOPE.

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