It seems like only yesterday when Tom Methvin from our firm was elected president of the Alabama Bar Association. But it’s been a full year when Tom completes his term as president this month. Tom has had a most successful term and he has accomplished a great deal. The following is Tom’s final message.
I want to thank everyone who has worked so hard this year. In particular, I want to thank President-Elect Alyce Spruell and Vice President Phillip McCallum. Their hard work and dedication were an integral part of the success of our programs and initiatives.
Choosing a focus for our work this past year was easy. In July 2009, Alabama stood dead last in funding for Access to Justice in civil matters. As a result there have been a lot of hurting people without legal representation. Ensuring legal help for the poor in these cases was, and still is, a matter of the utmost importance.
We attacked this problem by securing additional funding for Access to Justice from Alabama lawyers and from the Legislature, and by increasing participation in our Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP). We have made significant progress in a lot of areas. The following is a report card of our progress:
What a great start we’ve made in ensuring Access to Justice for all. We have not yet earned an “A” for our performance in this area. That is our goal, not just for our lawyers, but for the poor in Alabama who desperately need our help. So many lawyers have given so much to this effort. I firmly believe we can go to new heights if we keep focusing on this over the next five years. I have enjoyed being a part of this effort for Access to Justice. With your continued effort, we can achieve.
Source: This article is reprinted from the July 2010 edition of The Alabama Lawyer magazine.
It is widely recognized that Tom has done an outstanding job as State Bar President. He has brought to the public’s attention the fact that low income Alabamians have been largely shut out of the civil justice system. Tom has involved hundreds of lawyers across the state in an effort to right a wrong. Lawyers have volunteered their time to help solve this most serious problem. Tom – who is compassionate about helping folks – is to be commended for his service. He has been a most effective spokesman for folks who generally have no real voice when it comes to obtaining justice and fair treatment.
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