Meting out sweet justice: Delaware County celebrates pro bono service
Birth Certificate Clinic in Chester city: Thanks to Santander Bank of Villanova & Catholic Social Services of Delaware County
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
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.
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.
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: