Pro bono spotlight: Celebration week events already underway

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  • | 12:00 p.m. October 12, 2015
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The annual Celebrate Pro Bono Week is observed Oct. 25-31.

The purpose of the week is:

• To recognize the service of pro bono attorneys providing assistance to low-income people.

• To recruit more pro bono attorneys to provide legal services to low-income people.

• To build awareness of pro bono legal services in the broader community (not just the legal community).

Local efforts and events

• Sept. 22, noon-1 p.m.: JBA luncheon, Hyatt Regency Jacksonville Riverfront. Presentation of Mayoral Proclamation of Celebrate Pro Bono week in Jacksonville by Charles E. Moreland, city director of community affairs. Launch of The JBA Pro Bono Challenge 2015-16.

• Oct. 1–31: Take one case. The One Campaign–One Client. One Attorney. One Promise. If you haven’t already, take one case. All attorneys who don’t have at least one pro bono case are encouraged to visit the online pro bono case resource at, click on “Cases in Need of Placement with Pro Bono Attorneys” and request more information on the case of a low-income client. Cases posted are identified by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership and Three Rivers Legal Services. Contact Kathy Para, The JBA Pro Bono Committee chair, at [email protected], (904) 356-8371, ext. 363.

• Oct. 1–31: Launch of The JBA Pro Bono Initiative. Each substantive committee of The Jacksonville Bar Association is encouraged to identify at least one pro bono effort that provides a meaningful and manageable opportunity for committee members to increase access to justice for low-income and underserved people. For information, contact Para, [email protected], or Laura Boeckman, co-chair, [email protected], The JBA Pro Bono Committee.

• Oct. 25-31: No Case Left Behind! Members of the Large Firm Pro Bono Roundtable will snapshot the “Cases Awaiting Placement” and will rally attorneys in their firms to take a case. The goal will be that the Roundtable will “clear the backlog” to ensure that cases currently in the queue will be accepted by an attorney. Cases will be identified by Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, Three Rivers Legal Services, and the Veterans Legal Collaborative. Contact Para at [email protected], (904) 356-8371, ext. 363.

• Oct. 25-31: Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division, Launch of Guardian Advocacy Pro Bono Project. Across the state of Florida, Young Lawyers will receive training and will sign up to assist a family with a guardian advocacy matter. The YLD Guardian Advocacy Pro Bono Project is a collaboration of the local YLD chapters, The Florida Bar Foundation, and the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association. Interested attorneys may contact Lindsay Tygart, president of The Young Lawyers Section of the JBA, [email protected].

• Oct. 8-9: Guardian ad Litem, Volunteer Pre-Service Training Class. This class will be held for potential volunteers going through certification training. For information contact Lindsay Stevens, child advocate recruiter, [email protected].

• Oct. 9, 5:30-7:30 p.m.: Three Rivers Legal Services, Inc. Restoration of Civil Rights Clinic, 3225 University Blvd. South, Suite 220, 32216. For information, contact Chardea Murray, pro bono coordinator, at [email protected].

• Oct. 13: Guardian ad Litem, Volunteer In-Service Training. Termination of parental rights training for current volunteers and recertification hours. For information contact Lindsay Stevens, Child Advocate Recruiter, [email protected].

• Oct. 17, 9 a.m.-noon: Senior Citizens Wills and Advance Directives Pro Bono Project, Pablo Hamlet, HUD Residential Center. Pro bono attorneys, Northeast Florida Paralegal Association members and Florida Coastal School of Law students team up to create advance planning documents for senior citizens residing in HUD subsidized residential facilities. Attorneys interested in serving should contact Para at [email protected], (904) 356-8371, ext. 363.

• Oct. 27, 6-7:30 p.m.: City Rescue Mission, 426 S. McDuff Ave., 32254, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Intake Night and Case Acceptance Forum. This intake outreach service is coordinated by the Christian Legal Society. Pro bono attorneys provide legal guidance to residents in the Life Builders program at the City Rescue Mission. Pro Bono attorneys may accept a case for follow-up after the intake night. Interested attorneys should contact Blane McCarthy at [email protected].

• Oct. 25: Guardian ad Litem “GAL Day” at UNF. Hosted by Kappa Alpha Theta Sorority. Celebration hosted by Thetas, inviting GAL staff, GAL volunteers, children in care, and foster parents. For more information contact Lindsay Stevens, Child Advocate Recruiter, [email protected].

• Oct. 26: Financial News & Daily Record, full page thank you ad to all those providing pro bono legal assistance to low-income persons.

• Oct. 29: Florida Coastal School of Law, Pro Bono Fall Forum, 8787 Baypine Road, noon-1:00. The purpose is to encourage and educate students who will soon be practicing attorneys to get involved with pro bono representation of low income clients. Legal Services organizations and other community resource providers are invited to set up displays and distribute information on volunteer and pro bono opportunities for students and attorneys. Lunch will be provided. Contact Karen Millard, Director, Pro Bono Programs, Florida Coastal School of Law, [email protected].

• Oct. 25-31: Lawyers in Libraries. This statewide initiative launched in 2013. The goal is to have Pro Bono volunteer lawyers in public libraries throughout Florida speaking with patrons about access to justice and to demonstrate through a presentation the online legal resources that a patron can access for legal assistance. In addition, prior to the community presentation, the attorneys will also make a presentation to librarians about online legal resources and answer questions regarding unauthorized practice of law. Florida Legal Services will develop both presentations and send them out to volunteers and to the pro bono coordinators well in advance of the program. The goal is to have the main libraries in all Florida counties staffed by a volunteer attorney and as many branch libraries as possible. Interested pro bono attorneys should contact Para at [email protected] or Murray at [email protected].

• Oct. 27, 5:30-8:30 p.m.: Florida Bar Business Law Section, nonprofit Legal Services Forum, Florida Coastal School of Law, 8787 Baypine Road. Transactional attorneys will consult with local non-profit organizations regarding legal matters in the areas of contracts, employment, incorporation, and real estate. Attorneys interested in providing counsel and advice to staff members of local non-profit organizations should contact John Macdonald at [email protected]. Nonprofits interested in participating should contact Para at [email protected].

• Oct. 28, 5:30-7 p.m.: JALAween and Meet the Judges, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, 126 W. Adams St. JALA will host an Open House and reception as a “thank you” to pro bono attorneys, supporters, and interested persons and to provide information on the depth and scope of civil legal services provided to low-income persons for nearly 80 years. Children from area agencies serving low-income families will be invited to enjoy Halloween activities, choose some fun clothing accessories, and fill a bag with healthy snacks for their families. Adult guests will be provided an overview of JALA services, will be thanked for their interest and support, and will be invited to an informal happy hour gathering, two doors down at the Zodiac restaurant. This will include an opportunity to network and to meet and greet some of our Judges. The event is sponsored by the law firm of Driver, McAfee, Peek & Hawthorne. Attorney response is appreciated, but not required. Contact Para at [email protected].

• Oct. 30, noon-1 p.m.: JBA Luncheon, Dueling Deans FL/GA, Hyatt. With updates on The JBA Pro Bono Challenge, 2015-16.



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