Contact Our Legal Clinic Staff: 228-864-7144
Post Office Box 353, Gulfport, Mississippi 39502-0353
2600 24th Avenue, Gulfport, Mississippi 39502-0353
The Northcutt Legal Clinic is the newest addition to our services. This is a fully-functional legal office that provides civil legal services to domestic violence, sexual assault, and stalking victims.
Civil legal services for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking:
The Northcutt Legal Clinic provides civil legal representation of an emergency, routine, and follow-up nature, in that priority, to resolve problems caused by abuse suffered by victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, who are otherwise unable to afford such services.
The Northcutt Legal Clinic is a traditional law office that handles legal matters of a non-criminal nature for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking. The clinic attorney has thirty years experience and is assisted by a secretary/paralegal. We are a subsidiary of the Gulf Coast Women’s Center for Nonviolence, Inc., the women’s shelter for South Mississippi.
We represent victims, mostly women, in their legal battles for protection, for divorce, and for child custody and support. We usually take information from a client over the phone and then arrange an interview. At the interview we determine if we can assist the client, take additional information if needed, and plan the legal action that will achieve the client’s objectives.
Very often, the legal aspects of a client’s situation take second place to other issues. Whenever we talk with a client, the first concern we have is for our client’s safety. We discuss those issues first. When safety is reasonably assured, we can assess the type of legal services that will work best. While we do that, we can also determine if other services provided by the parent organization, such as counseling, are appropriate.
We provide clients a full range of legal services that deal with the abuse they have suffered and the consequences of that abuse. The most common service is, of course, divorce. Along with divorce comes child custody and support issues. If marriage is not involved, establishing paternity may accompany the custody and support issues. If immediate safety is an issue, we seek court orders that protect clients from further domestic abuse. In addition, we attempt to assist clients in other legal matters that have a significant impact on their lives and the lives of their families, such as public assistance problems,
housing, credit repair, employment, and consumer and finance issues. To the extent that those concerns are not legal questions, we refer the client to the Women’s Center, which has a large staff capable of addressing those matters directly.
We provide services for victims of abuse, whether domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. The need for legal services must be caused by or related to the abuse. For example, if a client has a pressing domestic legal matter, but the abuse she has suffered
has nothing to do with the legal needs, we must decline representation. This often happens when a client is suffering abuse from a current spouse or partner, but the only legal issues deal with a former spouse or partner. Our clients must be unable to afford the cost of an attorney on their own. We do not, however, have a set schedule for qualifying. Therefore, even if a client has a job and is self-sufficient, she may qualify for legal services from the Northcutt Legal Clinic.
The Northcutt Legal Clinic is funded by a grant from the Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women. Additional funding is provided by the Mississippi Bar Foundation. In addition, the Harrison County Board of Supervisors has graciously donated office space for the clinic.
The Northcutt Legal Clinic’s service area is co-extensive with the Women’s Center area. We provide services to residents of the six coastal Mississippi counties: Harrison, Jackson, Hancock, Stone, Pearl River, and George.
The Women’s Center and the Legal Clinic are both dedicated to the prevention of violence, especially among family members. To that end, we cannot provide services if the victim is not willing or ready to distance herself from the violence.
Our phone numbers and address are listed above. In addition, you can get our numbers from the Women’s Center. Their crisis line numbers are 228-435-1968 and 800-800-1396. Tell the staff operator that you need legal assistance and they can direct you to us.