Tom Methvin had a tremendous year as President of the Alabama State Bar. He has worked hard and did an outstanding job. At the annual meeting of the Alabama State Bar in July, Tom officially ended his term as President of the organization, passing the gavel both literally and figuratively to new President Alyce Spruell. Throughout his year as Bar President, Tom has worked to emphasize Access to Justice. His goal was to increase awareness of this important initiative, to increase funding for the program, and to increase participation in the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP).
In 2009-2010, the Alabama Legislature agreed to a 12% increase in funding for Access to Justice, even though funding was cut for most other things. Alabama lawyers also agreed to make voluntary donations of $850,000 to help fund Access to Justice. Also since January 2009, more than 1,450 new lawyers have joined the VLP and agreed to represent the poor for free. Tom had this to say:
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 few years. I have enjoyed being a part of this effort for Access to Justice.
Much has been accomplished on the project started by Tom, but there is much left to do. Ensuring legal help for the poor in civil matters is of the utmost importance. Hopefully, this effort to help those who badly need help will continue.
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