By Kathy Para, JBA Pro Bono Committee Chair
There always is immense need for pro bono legal services. For families with few resources, the impact of a legal issue can lead to homelessness, poor health or unemployment and for children, failure in school.
As we approach the Oct. 21-27 Celebrate Pro Bono Week, attorneys are encouraged to assist one person with a civil legal matter and participate in an outreach event.
The purpose of Celebrate Pro Bono Week is to recognize the service of volunteer attorneys who assist low-income people; recruit attorneys; and build awareness of pro bono services in the community.
Through Oct. 31
Florida Pro Bono Matters and No Case Left Behind
Members of the Large Firm Pro Bono Roundtable rally attorneys in their firms to take a case. The goal is to “clear the backlog” and accept at least 50 cases in the weeks leading up to Celebrate Pro Bono Week. Visit floridaprobonomatters.org and use the county drop down menu to choose a case.
The JBA Pro Bono Initiative: Time to Commit
Each Jacksonville Bar Association committee is encouraged to identify at least one pro bono effort that provides an opportunity for committee members to increase access to justice for low-income people.
Lawyers in Libraries
The goal is to have volunteer lawyers speaking with public library patrons about access to justice and to demonstrate through a presentation the online legal resources that a patron can access for legal assistance.
Florida Legal Services will develop the presentations and send them to volunteers in advance of the program.
Oct. 30: JALAween and Meet the Judges
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid at 126 W. Adams St. will host an open house and reception at 5:30 p.m. as a “thank you” to pro bono attorneys and supporters.
From 4-6 p.m., children from area nonprofits that serve the needs of families will be invited to participate in carnival games and trick-or-treating. Adult guests will be invited to an informal happy hour at the Zodiac Bar & Grill.
The event is sponsored by the law firm of Driver, McAfee, Hawthorne & Diebenow. Attorney RSVP is appreciated, but not required, to [email protected].
JALA Intake Night
Jacksonville Area Legal Aid Intake Night and Case Acceptance Forum coordinated by Christian Legal Society, 6-7:30 p.m. at the City Rescue Mission, 426 S. McDuff Ave. Interested attorneys should contact Blane McCarthy at [email protected].
Contact any member of the JBA Pro Bono Committee for more information and ways to participate in our celebration of pro bono service. Cases in need of a volunteer attorney can be reviewed at FloridaProBonoMatters.org. You also may contact [email protected] or Laura Boeckman at [email protected]