As an active member of Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s (JALA) pro bono attorney panel, Maryanne Yeomans provides her legal services, knowledge and time to those in need.
As a practicing family law and criminal defense attorney, Yeomans devotes her time to, and remains extremely active in, local pro bono efforts including JALA and the Clay County Bar Association, while still maintaining and managing her own law practice.
Representing indigent clients in family law matters when called upon to do so by JALA, Yeomans makes the most of her time and services by also participating in the JALA “Ask-A-Lawyer” events, and working with other attorneys to establish a child support workshop in Clay County to assist those who do not have the funds to hire an attorney.
“I became involved in pro bono work so that I could give something back to the community in a professional capacity,” said Yeomans.
“I also became involved for selfish reasons,” she said. “It gives me tremendous personal satisfaction to help those that could not normally afford to have someone fight for them in our very complex legal system.”
While Yeomans holds every pro bono matter close to her heart, when asked about a case that stands out, she chose a family law matter as especially memorable and affecting.
“I helped a woman whose children were being sexually abused by her husband,” said Yeomans. “I assisted her in her dissolution of the marriage, and also in obtaining an injunction to keep her husband away from her children. It was very important to me that I assist her so that she could protect herself and her children against his abuse.”
Yeomans’ efforts do not go unnoticed among her peers. When asked about Yeomans’ contributions to community pro bono activities, JALA staff attorney Marnette Price marveled at Yeomans’ dedication and time management.
“Maryanne’s willingness to step forward and donate her time and energy to assist clients is especially impressive in light of the fact that she is running a law practice, continues to be heavily involved in Clay Bar Association activities, and has two young children,” said Price.
“I don’t know where she finds the time and energy to do all these things, and do them so well,” she said.
Yeomans’ advice to attorneys who may be considering accepting pro bono cases and being involved in pro bono representation is to be prepared to feel rewarded for the work that they do.
“You will never receive the amount of gratification from any of your other clients that you receive from your pro bono ones,” she said.
Pro bono representation matters and is manageable. Attorneys interested in pro bono opportunities throughout the Fourth Judicial Circuit are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chairwoman, The Jacksonville Bar Association, Pro Bono Committee, [email protected], 356-8371, ext. 363. One Client. One Attorney. One Promise.