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Many Become ONE for Pro Bono Celebration 2013

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ONE
Celebration 2013
BY ANGELA WASHINGTON, ACCESS TO JUSTICE DIRECTOR
Many Become
for Pro Bono
An enthusiasm for service was in the air during the month of October, as scores of selfless attorneys rolled up their sleeves and provided volunteer services to the residents of Nevada. Though the American Bar Association (ABA) observed a nationwide Pro Bono Celebration from October 20 to October 26, Nevada raised the bar by offering specialized pro bono events and services throughout the month. More than ever, members of the state bar, through their example, encouraged their colleagues to become “the ONE.”
Nevada Legal Services’ Pro Bono Attorney of the Year Terry “TJ” Johnson, with his wife, Yvonne.
In southern Nevada, the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program partnered with the City of Las Vegas and the Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) Council to sponsor the Senior Safety Fair, in an effort to educate seniors about crimes targeting the elderly. The event featured a fashion show designed to let seniors know what to look for before inviting strangers into their homes. Fashion show participants included members of Las Vegas’ best: among the participants were police officers, firefighters and utility company workers. Other topics for seniors included education on identifying abuse and neglect, identity theft, fraud and other financial exploitation scenarios.
Collaborative Service Events Reach Hundreds
Legal services agencies in Nevada worked outside the perimeters of the legal field in collaboration with general service agencies to offer assistance to Nevadans. Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans (VARN) partnered with the Nevada Network Against Domestic Violence and Catholic Charities of Northern Nevada to sponsor Legal Remedies for Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence and Other Crimes, at the Chamber of Commerce in Elko. Additionally, VARN joined forces with the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension to present an informational session on Domestic Violence and its Effect on Our Community. More than 50 attendees took part in this very important event.
Legal Education & Legal Aid Fairs Abound
Several opportunities for legal education and assistance were available to the public during Pro Bono Celebration 2013, through legal fairs and Ask-A-Lawyer programs across the state. A total of nine Ask-A-Lawyer programs took place in Carson City, Elko, Las Vegas and Reno; as a result of those programs, more than 250 Nevadans received much-needed assistance with various legal services from more than 40 dedicated attorneys. Additionally, VARN hosted a successful legal aid fair at the Carson City Community Center. Nine volunteer attorneys assisted 79 people with various legal issues. The Supreme Court Law Library was also present at
26 Nevada Lawyer January 2014
Eunice Beattie (center) receives LACSN’s Volunteer of the Month award from Eighth Judicial District Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez (left) and Eighth Judicial District Chief Judge Jennifer P. Togliatti (right).
this event to educate and assist those present on the use of pro se forms and documents. One of the special legal aid seminars that took place during Pro Bono Celebration 2013 was the Health Care Directives Seminar, hosted by Southern Nevada Senior Law Program and Nevada Legal Services. Three volunteer attorneys assisted 18 seniors with the very sensitive process of organizing their health care affairs. In addition to providing education to the public, pro bono month CLE seminars provided education to attorneys. Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada and UNLV Boyd School of Law provided free CLE training to attorneys on the Basics of Representing Abused and Neglected Children (featuring Judge Frank Sullivan) and on Property Division (cosponsored with The Willick Law Group). Other educational opportunities, such as The Poverty Simulation, hosted by Nevada Legal Services, were also available to attorneys during Pro Bono Celebration 2013. The Poverty Simulation was an interactive seminar providing participants with an opportunity to experience the challenges faced by those living in low-income communities. In an effort to prepare law students to be “the ONE,” The William S. Boyd School of Law presented Pro Bono Perspectives and Opportunities – a panel discussion designed to encourage law students to make pro bono a part of their practices. The panel discussed several aspects of pro bono work, opportunities and incentives for pro bono participation.
Governor Sandoval’s proclamation making October 20 26, 2013, Nevada’s National Pro Bono Week.
continued on page 28
January 2014
Nevada Lawyer
27
Recognizing Dedication to Access to Justice
United States Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Las Vegas. The Surratt Law Practice and Woodburn & Wedge Attorneys who have shown in Reno and Gordon Silver in Las commitment to pro bono services Vegas won the Pro Bono Firm of the Year awards. The Pro Bono Attorney of in Nevada are recognized at various the Year awards went to Muriel Skelly functions annually. Pro Bono Celebration 2013 was no exception, as and Shay Wells in Reno, and Terry continued from page 27 recognition was heaped on organizations Johnson in Las Vegas. The Nevada and individuals dedicated to serving others. Supreme Court Law Library and Melynda Mall in Reno and Every year, Nevada Legal Services honors the work of its the Southern Nevada Senior Law Program in Las Vegas all pro bono volunteers and supporters at the annual Champions took special Recognition awards. Lastly, the Judge Andrew of Justice Awards Luncheon in northern and southern Nevada. Puccinelli Memorial Award was presented in Reno to Rendal The Champions of Justice Awards originated from a desire to Miller. recognize attorneys and community leaders who significantly Similarly, during Pro Bono Celebration 2013, Legal support the cause of access to justice for all Nevadans. One of Aid Center of Southern Nevada recognized its Volunteer of the highest honors at the ceremony, the Champion of Justice the Month at the Eighth Judicial District Court Civil Judges’ Award, goes to an individual who has gone above and beyond Meeting. Eunice Beattie of Gordon Silver received the in the furtherance of equal justice. Honors are also presented for distinction and was honored at the meeting for her unwavering Firm of the Year, Pro Bono Attorney of the Year and special commitment to pro bono services. Also, in an effort to nurture recognition honorees. the supportive endeavors of the state bar membership, Legal This year, Nevada Legal Services hosted the Champions Aid Center of Southern Nevada hosted the Family Law Support of Justice Awards Luncheon in Reno, to honor the work of Luncheon, which also serves as an informal opportunity for northern Nevadans, and in Las Vegas, to honor the work of lawyers to discuss their open cases. southern Nevadans. The Champion of Justice Award went to Sixth Judicial District Judge Michael Montero in Reno and to
ONE
Celebration 2013
Many Become
for Pro Bono
Many Thanks for Being the ONE
The State Bar of Nevada extends much appreciation to you, for giving of your time and services during Pro Bono Celebration 2013. Through your volunteerism, you guided several hundred Nevadans through legal challenges and toward hope of resolution. Your volunteer efforts reinforced the idea of giving back, paying it forward or just helping someone in need. Thank you for your service. Thank you for being the ONE. “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” ― Winston Churchill
Special Thanks to:
The State Bar of Nevada The Nevada Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission Bank of Nevada Rodder Public Relations The Firm Public Relations & Marketing Volunteer Attorneys for Rural Nevadans Washoe Legal Services Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada Southern Nevada Senior Law Program Nevada Legal Services UNLV William S. Boyd School of Law
702-260-1008
28 Nevada Lawyer January 2014

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