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Attorneys from Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and the Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association joined forces at World of Nations to serve the community.  From left, Katherine Hanson, Art Stresing, LaVerne Andreasen, Alison DeBelder and Shane Herbert.
Jax Daily Record Monday, May 12, 201412:00 PM EST

Pro bono spotlight: Ask-A-Lawyer takes to 'World' stage

by: Kathy Para

At the annual World of Nations events, attendees have the opportunity to take a quick trip around the globe.

From sampling international cuisine to watching traditional dances to playing with toys from faraway places, there is something for everyone.

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid has been a community agency participant in recent years, distributing information on fair housing and other legal areas.

This year, lawyers from the Jacksonville Asian American Bar Association joined forces with JALA to provide an Ask-A-Lawyer opportunity for World of Nations attendees.

Pro bono attorneys from the association fielded general legal questions and provided direction to additional community resources.

Association members represent several Asian nations such as South Korea, the Philippines and China.

“With our personal connections to the global community we wanted to participate in the World of Nations event and provide our legal expertise to members of our community,” said association President Shane Herbert.  “Partnering with JALA gave us the opportunity to do both.”

Pro bono attorneys were Herbert, Florence Chen, Jo-Anne Yau, Bryan Hayden and Art Stresing.

Their service went beyond answering legal questions. They also assisted with surveys and passed out information on other community services.

Ask-A-Lawyer events are held quarterly and typically on a Saturday morning around the city.

The effort at World of Nations was a little different and offered a pro bono attorney on-site throughout the weekend to provide legal guidance within that person’s practice area.

The goal of every Ask-A-Lawyer is to take information and guidance directly to members of our community who may not otherwise be able access the expertise of an attorney.

We know that, as attorneys, we don’t always tell people what they want to hear. However, with the belief that knowledge is power, we know that with sound information and direction, people are better equipped to receive the help they need and resolve their matters.

Attorneys interested in pro bono opportunities throughout the 4th Circuit are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chair of The JBA Pro Bono Committee at [email protected].

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