NewsMetro Detroit News


Mother credits free legal aid clinic for helping her reunite with her daughters

Weekend walk helped raise funds for the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic
Posted at 2:28 PM, May 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-14 17:24:09-04

(WXYZ) — At the 10th annual Walk for Justice event, people racked up their step count at the Detroit Zoo, and even placed bids to help raise funds for the Salvation Army's William Booth Legal Aid Clinic.

"I’m excited that the proceeds will go to help a really good cause," said Caitlyn, a participant.

The proceeds go toward helping low-income families, individuals, and U.S. military veterans looking for legal help.

From free in house legal services to referrals, the clinic’s director, Amy Roemer, says clients are never turned away.

"Legal Aid Clinic assists with family law issues, we hope to help people who are experiencing homelessness, domestic violence, and financial exploitation," said Amy Roemer, director of the William Booth Legal Aid Clinic.

And 31-year-old Maylasia Black happens to know firsthand how much of an impact the clinic has made in her life.

"It was really important for services like theirs to be around for people that have a hard time like custody, and family," said Mayalsia Black, a William Booth Legal Aid Clinic client.

Malaysia's world shattered in 2019 when her two daughters, Nadia and Mikalya were taken by her former husband.

"Nobody knew where he was," said Mayalsia.

As Malaysia searched for her kids for over 7 months, her health took a hit.

"I was so skinny and sick, and my hair was falling out," said Mayalsia.

Once the kids were traced to another state, the next challenge for Maylasia was to get them back. That meant legal help, money that she didn’t have.

"I’m talking about $5,500, $3,500 just someone to look at my case," she said.

That’s when Amy stepped in, reunited Maylasia with her kids while charging zero dollars for legal fees.

"When I arrived ... they were so ecstatic, they were shouting, 'that's my mommy, mommy come get me,'" she said.

Last year, the clinic resolved nearly 1,800 legal issues, and this year they hope to help even more as they aim to raise $100,000.

"As an attorney, you don’t get to do that, and so working for a legal aid and doing that is really fulfilling," said Amy.

William Booth Legal Aid Clinic plays a pivotal role across metro Detroit helping impoverished families and veterans for free thanks to generous donations. To contribute to this great cause, head over to