Meting out sweet justice: Delaware County celebrates pro bono service

Pictured following a Pro Bono Week celebration & CLE Oct. 25, 2018 in Delaware County (from left): Shawn Boehringer, LASP Executive Director; Michelle R. Terry, Esq., Managing Attorney of LASP's Delaware County Division; William L. Baldwin, Esq., Vice President of the LASP Board of Directors and Executive Director of the Delaware County Bar Association; Thomas Kerstan, Esq., LASP Delaware County Pro Bono Coordinator; David K. Trevaskis, Esq., Pro Bono Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Bar Association; Sharon López, Esq., immediate past president of the PBA; Hon. Stephanie H. Klein (Ret.), member of the LASP Board of Directors and chair of the DCBA Pro Bono Committee; Kevin M. Madden, member of the Delaware County Council; Vincent B. Mancini, Esq., President, DCBA; and Michael P. Pierce, Esq., member of the PBA Board of Governors, representing Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery county lawyers.

Steven Koense, Esq. (speaking at left), Sharon López, Esq. and Robert Keller, Esq. shared compelling stories of their pro bono work, as did Hon. Stephanie Klein (Ret.), member of the LASP Board of Directors, pictured in top photo.

Birth Certificate Clinic in Chester city: Thanks to Santander Bank of Villanova & Catholic Social Services of Delaware County

47 applications completed! THANKS to attorneys & paralegals from Santander Bank's Villanova branch for pro bono assistance, and to Catholic Social Services of Delaware County for hosting the clinic! Thomas Kerstan, LASP Delaware County pro bono coordinator, organized the clinic, held Oct. 23, 2018 in Chester.

Without a birth certificate, people often cannot apply for a driver's license, obtain medical assistance or other benefits, enroll in school, and sometimes enter a building that requires ID. Together, we helped children, adults, and senior citizens!

Celebrating pro bono volunteering in Chester County

Pro bono volunteers in Chester County gathered Oct. 25, 2018 to celebrate their service in expanding access to justice to low-income and disadvantaged county residents. Photo courtesy of Chester County Bar Association.

 


Wills for Heroes event helps veterans & first responders at Coatesville VA

About three dozen veterans and first responders received help with wills, financial powers of attorney and medical directives at a Wills for Heroes event Nov. 3, 2018. LASP and Wills for Heroes partnered to bring the session to the Coatesville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Pennsylvania Bar Association's Young Lawyers Division co-sponsors Wills for Heroes. Pictured below are the volunteers -- local attorneys, law students, and paralegals/notaries -- who staffed EIGHT tables. Through the program, they were able to assist veterans, active and retired first responders, and their spouses.

PBA Pro Bono Award given to Shari Gelfont Williams

Shari Gelfont Williams of Gelfont Williams Law LLC, Huntingdon Valley, was presented with a 2018 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award Oct. 24 at the Bucks County Bar Association. Williams was a coordinator of the Legal Representation Project for the Network of Victim Assistance. Among her duties were recruiting, training and supervising pro bono attorneys, certified legal interns and law students to represent domestic violence victims seeking restraining orders.

Earlier in the evening, David K. Trevaskis, Esq., PBA Pro Bono Coordinator, presented a wide- ranging CLE on the importance of pro bono volunteering. He highlighted the work of Sharon Browning, Esq., and the JUST Listening Project at justlistening.net, along with the career of Edgar Cahn, Esq., now 83, who continues to travel to promote his work on timebanking and youth courts.

In making the case for pro bono volunteering at a CLE Oct. 24, David K. Trevaskis (photo at left), Esq., Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Coordinator, discusses the inspiring work of Sharon Browning of JUST Listening and of legal scholar & activist Edgar Cahn, J.D., Ph.D, and his wife, Christine Gray, Ph.D.

Charles Eppolito III (photo above), Esq., President of the Pennsylvania Bar Association, presents Shari Gelfont Williams with a PBA pro bono award.


Montco's Pro Bono Month Appreciation Reception

The Montgomery Bar Association honored pro bono volunteers at a reception Oct. 10, 2018. For additional photos, please visit LASP's Flickr album at https://flic.kr/s/aHsms2mhuF.

From left: James F. Mannion, Esq.; Kesha James, Esq., LASP Deputy Director for Advocacy; Erica Briant, LASP Regional Expungement Attorney; and Stewart J. Greenleaf, Jr., Esq., LASP Board of Directors.

Joseph P. Lynch (left), Esq., LASP Board of Directors; and Philip L. Gazen, Esq.

Nancy Walsh, Montgomery Bar Association Special Project Manager, and Jeffrey S. Feldman, Esq., MBA Director.

Barbara M. Smith, Esq., Montgomery Bar Association Director; Nancy Paul, Montgomery Bar Association Executive Director; and Shawn Boehringer, LASP Executive Director.
Sarinia M. Feinman, Esq., MBA Secretary, Eric B. Smith, Esq., immediate past President of MBA, and others enjoy the reception. 

Levittown library hosts LASP’s Bucks County Birth Certificate Clinic

55 birth certificates requested! THANK YOU to all pro bono volunteers from Penn Community Bank and Hill Wallack LLP for your assistance. Thanks also to the Levittown Branch of the Bucks County Free Library for hosting the LASP clinic Nov. 9, 2018.

Birth certificates often are needed to receive medical assistance, housing and other public benefits, to obtain a Pennsylvania driver’s or non-driver’s license, for access to many public buildings, and for many other general identification purposes. Individuals who attended the clinic met with a legal advocate who requested a Pennsylvania birth certificate, free of charge, for them and/or their minor children.

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: