Jacksonville Area Legal Aid will host the 13th Annual Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Awards reception Tuesday night to recognize those who pursue its goals and those that have supported its mission.
The 2011 Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Award winner continues the three-year trend of recognizing an organization that has done the most to promote the cause of equal justice for low-income people.
This year’s recipient is Florida Coastal School of Law. JALA chose Florida Coastal for its enduring partnership with JALA and for its commitment to the community.
It will join a list of past honorees that includes former Florida Bar President and Florida Coastal advisory board member Hank Coxe, City Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Hyde and former City Council President Jack Webb.
“We are honored and humbled to be recognized in this way and we look forward to partnering with JALA to help those in need in Jacksonville for years to come,” said Peter Goplerud, dean and professor of law at Florida Coastal.
The award was named after former Holland & Knight partner Robert J. Beckham after his death in 2009. He was a recipient of the award in 2007,
Along with the Equal Justice Award, JALA will honor the President’s Award winners, who are those who have given exemplary assistance to JALA throughout the year.
Honorees for the award include outstanding staff and pro bono attorneys, and firms that have had 100 percent of their attorneys contribute to JALA.
“I’ve been very fortunate in my career to receive a number of recognitions and that was one of the more outstanding,” said Jake Schickel, past recipient of the JALA President’s Award. “Whenever a lawyer is recognized by the legal aid establishment for contributing to it goals and mission it is truly an outstanding honor. I was thrilled.”
The 2011 President’s Award honorees will be announced at the reception Tuesday at The River Club. The event will be from 6-8 p.m.
Prizes will be raffled off at the event, including a set of tickets to The Players Championship and a parking pass to the event.
“It’s a chance for us to recognize volunteers for all the good that they do and thank them for their continued support,” said Christa Figgins, development director for JALA.
The Jacksonville Bar Association President Michael Freed will serve as the master of ceremonies. Coxe will be the keynote speaker.
He is a board-certified criminal trial lawyer, former president of The Jacksonville Bar Association, former JALA board member and recipient of awards that include the 2004 Equal Justice Award.
JALA is a law firm of 30 attorneys specializing in providing civil legal assistance to the city’s low-income community.
Founded in 1976, it is a nonprofit corporation that offers civil legal services in areas that include consumer law, family law, housing, refugee immigration and child law advocacy.
JALA President’s Award Recipients
2010 — Edwards & Ragatz, Norma and Lenora Gregory, Robert Murphy, Regions Bank
2009 — Jake Schickel and Patrick Canan
2008 — Dayna Duncan, Caroline Emery, Christa Figgins, Deborah McDuffie, Rose Marie Preddy, Deborah Reid, Susan Sowards and John Wolfel
2007 — Billy Catlin
2006 — Evelyn Mew
2005 — John Duvall
2004 — Emily Diaz, Kathy Para, Donald Robinson, Deann Sessions-Mitchell, Kimberly Smith
2003 — Harrell & Johnson and Emerson Lotzia
2002 — Donnie MacKenzie and Lynn Drysdale
Robert J. Beckham Equal Justice Award recipients
2011 — Florida Coastal School of Law
2010 — The Jacksonville Bar Association
2009 — Harrell & Harrell
2008 — City Council members Glorious Johnson and Jack Webb
2007 — Robert J. Beckham
2006 — Kevin Hyde
2005 — Rogers Towers
2004 — Hank Coxe
2003 — Eddie Farrah
2002 — Pajcic & Pajcic
2001 — Robert Spohrer
2000 — Doug Milne
1999 — Wayne Hogan