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Law student Lisa Heffington and attorneys John Macdonald and Johann Van Lierop provide assistance at the Nonprofit Organization Legal Services Clinic.

Nonprofit Organization Pro Bono Legal Services Clinic another successful effort

by Kathy Para, The JBA Pro Bono Committee Chairwoman

The Florida Bar Business Law Section provided the second annual Nonprofit Organization Pro Bono Legal Services Clinic on Nov. 14 at Florida Coastal School of Law.

The event was a collaboration of The Business Law Section's John Macdonald, Florida Coastal School of Law Professor Karen Millard and Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Pro Bono Development Coordinator Kathy Para.

It was publicized to area nonprofit agencies through the United Way, HandsOn Jacksonville, the Nonprofit Center, City Council and the mayor's office.

Agency representatives signed up online for appointments indicating the missions of his or her nonprofit agency, their legal questions and whether they would like the pro bono attorney to provide a "legal checkup" for the agency.

Local transactional attorneys and members of The Florida Bar Business Law Section were provided the requests and appointment times. Attorneys volunteered to assist according to his or her area of expertise and availability.

Attorneys offered advice on a full range of legal matters and areas of law including contracts, employment, corporate, real estate, tax, trademark and copyright.

Sincere thanks are extended to pro bono attorneys Katharine Hartland, Amy Leitch, Brian Zargham, Ivan Colao, Ham Traylor, Johann Van Lierop and Alexandria Hill.

Coastal Law students Coleman Brooks, Megan Schade, Megan Peek and Lisa Heffington also provided assistance at the event. Some pro bono attorneys agreed to provide additional assistance to their agency representatives beyond the clinic.

The Florida Bar Business Law Section hopes to annually continue this opportunity. It provides a vehicle through which a transactional attorney can offer his or her expertise to support nonprofit organizations that serve local residents with social, educational and humanitarian services.

The positive impact of these organizations in Northeast Florida is far-reaching.

The support of the legal community with pro bono assistance helps fortify and enable the organizations' outreach and service to local families in need.

Attorneys who would like to participate in this event in 2013 or who would like to know more about pro bono opportunities throughout the 4th Judicial Circuit are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chairwoman of The JBA Pro Bono Committee at kathy.para@jaxlegalaid.org.

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