Some attorneys may say they don’t have the time to take a pro bono case. Not so, for attorneys Jessica Dumas and Lori Gaglione of the law firm Gaglione & Dumas. These are two attorneys who are clearly making a difference. The women help people seeking Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security Income benefits. Many of their pro bono referrals come to them via the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership.
“We are grateful for our good fortune and give back where we can,” said Dumas.
And give back they do. They’ve assisted dozens of pro bono clients over the years. In one of their recent pro bono cases, Gaglione helped a local homeless woman with significant mental and physical health problems get benefits. She now has been getting treatment, has a small apartment and a better quality of life.
Both mothers of young sons, they also find the time to be involved and provide leadership in the Jacksonville legal community. Dumas chaired the Social Security section of The Jacksonville Bar Associatio for three years until 2011. They are not only sharing their legal expertise with pro bono representation, they are also involved in community service. For the past two years, Gaglione has been the chairwoman of the Atlantic Beach Cultural Arts and Recreation Committee. The team also provides Thanksgiving dinner to several families each year and “adopts” indigent senior citizens and children during the December holidays.
Both Dumas and Gaglione became involved in pro bono to help those less fortunate.
“It is very rewarding to help the pro bono clients,” said Dumas. “What may come easily to you because of your experience can be invaluable to these clients. You might even get a homemade pie from a happy client.”
Most can agree that attorneys pursue a career in the law to make a positive contribution to their communities. It’s not the pay (or the pie) that motivated most attorneys to go to law school. The team of Dumas and Gaglione, like many others, have represented pro bono clients, have encouraged and assisted other pro bono attorneys, have promoted participation in pro bono cases, and have volunteered for the “Ask-A-Lawyer” events. Their assistance to clients has a far-reaching and long-lasting positive impact in our community. They are making a difference. They are helping to ensure that all have a voice in court. Their commitment fortifies and helps maintain our system of justice on which our nation relies. It is with deep appreciation for their generous involvement in pro bono legal assistance that the team of Gaglione and Dumas is selected as our “Pro Bono Attorneys of the Month.”
Attorneys interested in becoming involved in pro bono service and in more information on opportunities throughout the Fourth Judicial Circuit, are encouraged to contact Kathy Para, chairwoman, The JBA Pro Bono Committee, [email protected]