Ghouls, Goblins, Ghosts, and Pro Bono . . . Wait, what?!?!
YES, it’s Halloween. But more importantly, it’s National Pro Bono Week. For many, this may be a spooky thought, but it does not have to be.Just ask any of our countless Section members who have put in tireless hours of service helping those less fortunate with their appellate needs. Take for example, Stephen R. Senn, who is this year’s John R. Hamilton Pro Bono Award winner. In fact, be sure to read the Section’s publication, The Record. Kim Berman is writing a series of articles shining a spotlight on our Section’s unsung Pro Bono Heroes. The first installment can be found here.
Speaking of Pro Bono and The Record, did you know that lawyers have patron saints? Even better, did you know that one—St. Yves—is known as the “Advocate of the Poor” because of his work with the downtrodden between 1253-1303? I encourage you to read all about St. Yves and other patron saints in Wendy Loquasto’s new series in The Record. You can find the first installment about the Advocate of the Poor here.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention Thomasina Moore and Sara Goldfarb’s ABA article this month titled Paving the Way With a Playlist found here, which talks about the Section’s partnership with the Guardian ad Litem program, the program’s great works, and its continuing education opportunities to make pro bono less spine-chilling. Great read!
So this Halloween, tap into the Ghost of St. Yves and take on a pro bono case. They are not only rewarding, but are a great way for younger attorneys to get more involved with the Section, gain appellate experience, and work towards satisfying the board-certification requirements.
Our Pro Bono Committee has so many opportunities. We have Guardian ad Litem appeals. We have appeals assisting veterans in the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. We have appeals from various legal aid organizations from around the state involving family law, foreclosure, and small-claims cases. We have referrals from the Florida Supreme Court and District Courts. And we have new referrals from the Catholic Legal Services working on immigration appeals. This is but a few. If you are interested, reach out to the Pro Bono Committee’s Chairs Joe Eagleton and Eric Netcher.
Thank you again to our current and future Pro Bono Heroes!
Chris Donovan, Chair
The Florida Bar APS Chair 2020-2021