Pro Bono Attorneys of the Month: Fletcher and Black assist the immigrant community

  • By
  • | 12:00 p.m. August 2, 2010
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
  • News
  • Share

by Kathy Para

JBA Pro Bono Committee Chair

For their invaluable efforts in helping Jacksonville Area Legal Aid and the Florida Coastal School of Law Immigrant Rights Clinic assist the area’s immigrant community, David Fletcher and Rebecca Black of David R. Fletcher P.A. have been named Pro Bono Attorneys of the Month for August 2010.

“We wanted to recognize David and Rebecca together because of their approach to pro bono work as a small firm,” said Sarah Fowler, Manager, Pro Bono JALA. “David has assisted many, many clients and now, with Rebecca part of the firm, they have expanded their impact.”

Although Fletcher and, more recently, Black have assisted dozens of pro bono clients over the years, the firm has offered expertise in other ways, as well.

Black is a regular participant in the Immigration Intake night that is held at JALA on the first Tuesday of each month. JALA works in collaboration with the Immigrant Rights Clinic at Florida Coastal School of Law to hold the monthly intake night. Clients are scheduled for appointments to apply for legal services and are interviewed by pro bono attorneys. Black has helped get this important service established in the community and is a regular interviewing attorney.

This summer, the firm requested to have two summer law interns assist with pro bono cases. Attorneys at JALA and at FCSL applaud the firm’s efforts.

“This is a small firm that has tremendous positive and lasting impact on our community. Not only are they assisting these vulnerable clients who cannot afford to pay an attorney, they are also mentoring our next generation of attorneys to be compassionate and effective attorneys who are committed to pro bono work,” states FCSL Professor Ericka Curran.

“We figured it would be a way to help students gain some experience while helping out the community,” said Black, who entered practice in 2006 after graduating from the Florida Coastal School of Law.

When asked to describe an especially memorable or rewarding pro bono case, Black relates the situation of a client from Kenya. The woman was married to a U.S citizen who applied on his wife’s behalf for her permanent residency card.

The husband became abusive and when his wife tried to leave the relationship, he threatened that he would withdraw the application for her permanent resident status. The Violence Against Women Act provides that women in abusive or violent relationships may file petitions for permanent residency on their own behalf. Black, through the Immigration Intake night at JALA, met this client and accepted her case.

Through Black’s assistance, the client’s petition was granted and she now enjoys not only personal safety since she’s left the relationship, but she’s also able to build a stable life for herself in the United States.

Black already had a career in the restaurant business and sales when she decided to go to back to school for her law degree. “I just knew that I wanted to be an immigration attorney,” she said. “So I went back to school.”

Fletcher, however, has been handling immigration and naturalization matters for more than 30 years. The Florida State Law School graduate is admitted to practice before the Fifth and Eleventh U.S. Courts of Appeals, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court.

JALA immigrant clients are fortunate to have the pro bono services of David Fletcher and Rebecca Black of the firm of David R. Fletcher P.A. JALA and FCSL are proud to recognize them as the Attorneys of the Month and thank them for their commitment and service.

Attorneys interested in becoming involved in the efforts of JALA and FCSL to serve the immigrant population in northeast Florida are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, Pro Bono Development Coordinator, at [email protected].



Special Offer: $5 for 2 Months!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.