On June 10, attorneys were recognized for the pro bono service they provided in 2015.
Over 200 attorneys who gave at least 20 hours of pro bono legal assistance were invited to the Duval County Courthouse jury assembly room to have lunch and receive a personal word of thanks from judges.
The event was hosted by the 4th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee and The Jacksonville Bar Association Pro Bono Committee.
Circuit Judge Hugh Carithers, chair of the circuit committee, presided over the program.
He welcomed Bruce Blackwell, executive director of The Florida Bar Foundation, who highlighted the need for and impact of pro bono service in Florida.
Pro bono representation is a significant component in the delivery of legal services for low-income Floridians, increasing access to justice and helping ensure both sides of a matter are presented.
Carithers invited honorees to come forward as their names were called to shake hands with and receive a personal word of thanks and appreciation from the 19 judges in attendance.
Circuit Judges Steven Fahlgren and Virginia Norton, members of the circuit committee, called the names of the honorees and were the first to congratulate the volunteers for their contributions.
The attorneys received letters of appreciation from Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Labarga.
In addition, each attorney received an “Outstanding Pro Bono Service” lapel pin.
For many years, The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division has sponsored the recognition pins for pro bono service included with the letter from the chief justice.
The attorneys recognized were selected by Guardian ad Litem, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, The Jacksonville Bar Association Attorney ad Litem Project, the Northeast Florida Medical Legal Partnership, the Office of Public Defender Special Assistant Public Defender Program and Three Rivers Legal Services.
“The contributions of pro bono attorneys greatly impact the administration of justice at many levels and all members of our local bench are deeply appreciative,” Carithers said.
“It’s very important that we recognize those contributions and take a moment to say thank you. It was a privilege to have an opportunity to do so in person,” he added.
Appreciation also is extended to the members of both pro bono committees for their work and implementation of the event and to an anonymous donor for the financial support.
Attorneys interested in pro bono opportunities throughout the 4th Judicial Circuit are encouraged to contact [email protected]