Free birth certificate clinic seeks to break cycle of joblessness and other issues caused by lack of photo ID
Without a birth certificate, a person can't get photo identification. Without ID, a person can't request their birth certificate. Without ID, they have problems getting a job, loans/credit, housing, opening a bank account, and more. An attorney can break the cycle by requesting a birth certificate on behalf of a client.
A birth certificate clinic, sponsored in part by LASP, was held Jan. 19, 2018 at the United Way Financial Stability Center in Exton. Clients who have been unsuccessful in obtaining their birth certificates met with seven volunteer attorneys, who requested their birth certificates for them. No fees or ID were required. The volunteers, including several attorneys from a regional corporation which prefers to remain anonymous, met one-on-one with about 20 clients. "We'll be able to help with requesting 15 birth certificates," LASP staff attorney Brian Doyle said.
Celebrating Pro Bono Week
Bucks County attorney Kimberly Litzke (second from right) received a 2017 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award for her efforts to improve and increase pro bono participation in family law matters in Bucks County. Pictured (from left): David Trevaskis, PBA pro bono coordinator; Maria Rodriguez-Martyak, Esq.; Elizabeth Fritsch, LASP executive director; Stacey Mulholland, executive director of Bucks County Bar Association; Kimberly Litzke; and Judge C. Theodore Fritsch, Jr., Bucks County Court of Common Pleas. Photo courtesy of Pennsylvania Bar Association.
LASP Executive Director Elizabeth Fritsch and LASP attorney Jennifer Pierce present pro bono awards to attorneys who donated their time on behalf of LASP clients, across Bucks County. Photo courtesy of Bucks County Bar Association.
Merck, Montgomery Bar Foundation & LASP offer birth certificate clinic
Volunteer attorneys from Merck and Montgomery Bar Foundation joined LASP staff at Manna on Main Street, Lansdale, to help 53 adults and 45 children obtain birth certificates at a clinic held in August 2017. People whose records have been lost in a fire or other disaster, for example, may have trouble obtaining their birth certificate. Without a birth certificate, it is impossible to obtain many other forms of identification or to use some government services. Many thanks to the volunteers from Merck and the Montgomery Bar Association!
Aetna Volunteers Help Families Find Peace
LASP is fortunate to work with talented pro bono attorneys who give their time and expertise to represent those in our community who face serious civil legal problems and cannot afford legal services. Aetna attorneys Justin V. Czubaro and Alan K. Maesaka are two of these generous supporters of Legal Aid. Mr. Czubaro has volunteered with LASP for 2 years at our Willow Grove outreach location.
“I am most touched when clients come to Legal Aid with custody issues involving young children since I have 3- and 5- year-old daughters,” Mr. Czubaro says. “It is hard to fathom the pain they are going through when faced with situations of abuse or neglect from a parent. My hope is that their situation is resolved quickly and that the legal system can help them find peace for their family quickly.”
“While it is difficult to hear the hardships that some of the individuals who seek services from Legal Aid have gone through,” he adds, “it is satisfying when I am able to provide practical guidance about their legal issue.”
Aetna attorneys Alan K. Maesaka and Justin V. Czubaroff received 2016 PBA Pro Bono Awards for their work with LASP at the October 24th Pro Bono Week celebration and expungement CLE at the Montgomery County Bar Association.
You can read about our Pro Bono program and some of our other exceptional volunteer attorneys below: