October brought about the annual National Pro Bono Celebration, recognizing lawyers who donate their time and skills to provide free legal services for those in need. “Pro bono” is short for the Latin term “pro bono public,” which means “for the public good.” In the legal profession, it involves providing free legal services to the poor, who would be otherwise unable to afford a lawyer.
In Alabama, this service is organized through the Volunteer Lawyer Program (VLP) which was established by the Alabama State Bar in 1990. It began serving clients in 1991. There are local VLP programs throughout the state that work in conjunction with the State Bar.
The Montgomery County Volunteer Lawyer Program (MVLP) is supported by the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation, the Alabama Law Foundation, City of Montgomery, Legal Services Alabama, Montgomery County Bar Association (MCBA), Montgomery County Bar Foundation and the generosity of the legal community. The MVLP operates a walk-in clinic each month for those seeking legal assistance. This program was recently expanded from one to two days a month, on the first and third Thursday of each month from 3-5 p.m. at the Montgomery Community Action Agency. To date, the program has served 194 clients.
Tom Methvin, from our firm, is serving on the Board of Directors for the MCBA. He has been an active advocate of pro bono service since his successful tenure as President of the Alabama State Bar in 2009-2010. A number of Beasley Allen lawyers are part of the Volunteer Lawyers Program. Stephanie Monplaisir, a lawyer in our firm, recently won a pro bono case on appeal. She had met her client at the clinic. The woman faced losing her house as a result of a bad loan agreement with terms that had been changed without her approval. The client had won her case, which started in 2000, but the other party appealed the decision. Stephanie did a really good job for the woman.
The MCBA designated the MVLP as beneficiary of its Centennial Gala fundraiser, which celebrated the 100-year history of the Montgomery County Bar Association and honored the organization’s past presidents. Beasley Allen was honored to serve as Presidential Sponsor for the Centennial Gala. All proceeds from this year’s event went to the MVLP. Mike Martin, MVLP director, who is doing an outstanding job, said:
We are indebted to MCBA, not only for the financial support we receive, but for the continued commitment from its members to provide pro bono assistance to the low-income Montgomery County residents facing civil legal issues. To those from whom we receive financial support and those who give of their time and expertise, again, we say thank you.
Since the MVLP program has expanded to two clinics per month, volunteer lawyers are needed now more than ever. Any Alabama lawyer who is willing to work at the walk-in clinics to assist clients and provide pro bono service, should contact the MVLP at 334-265-0222. For more information, visit www.montgomeryvlp.org.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.