From October 21 -25, the College of Law joins the Utah State Bar in celebrating pro bono service and encouraging law students and practitioners to volunteer their time and expertise to low-income Utahns who otherwise could not afford legal advice or representation. A variety of events will take place that week, including the kick-off event at the College of Law.
The weeklong celebration begins on Monday, October 21 at 12:15 p.m. James D. Gilson, President-Elect of the Utah State Bar, will welcome the audience to the Sutherland Moot Courtroom. Interim Dean Bob Adler will introduce Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill, who will provide remarks. In addition, the following will be given awards for their volunteer service: Judges Lynn W. Davis and Royal L. Hansen will each receive the Pro Bono Service Award; Louise T. Knauer will receive the Pro Bono Attorney Award; Ishola-Tarin, PLLC will receive the Pro Bono Law Firm Award; Daniel R. Black will receive the Pro Bono Law Student Award; and the Food & Care Coalition will receive the Community Agency Award.
Knauer, a longtime advocate of pro bono service and a co-founder of the College’s Family Law Clinic, said, “Many of us received our legal education at the University of Utah. The citizens of this state gave us a great gift when they partially funded that education. I have tried to remember that I owe my career in part to taxpayers in Utah, many of whom have so much less opportunity and resources than I. I have tried in some measure to ‘pay it forward.’ Pro Bono work is a way of saying ‘Thanks.’ And there is also great pleasure in feeling I have helped someone.”
After the event, a complimentary buffet lunch will be provided in the foyer. There will be a parking moratorium in the Rice-Eccles Stadium lot for this event.
On Tuesday, October 22, a panel discussion will be held at 12:15 p.m. in room 107 with Clinical Program interns.
That evening, the Street Law Legal Clinic will provide counseling services on consumer, landlord-tenant, discrimination, and employment law issues from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. at 1234 Main Street. The Free Legal Clinics are open to any low-income Utahn on a first-come first-serve basis.
The next day, on Wednesday, October 23, the College of Law hosts its Third Annual Pro Bono Bake Sale from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 in the Rosenblatt foyer. These items are specifically prepared by faculty and staff. All proceeds from the sale go to support Pro Bono Initiative programming.
On Thursday, October 24, the Debtor’s Counseling Legal Clinic will provide legal advice on bankruptcy, collections and credit issues from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Salt Lake City Public Library, 400 S. 210 East. The Free Legal Clinics are open to any low-income Utahn on a first-come first-serve basis.
Tthe week’s events culminate on Friday, October 25 with the Medical-Legal Clinic, which will provide advice on landlord-tenant, family law, consumer law and other issues at the South Main Public Health Center, 3690 South Main Street, from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. The Free Legal Clinics are open to any low-income Utahn on a first-come first-serve basis.
JoLynn Spruance, Director of the College of Law’s Pro Bono Initiative, said, “Access to justice is important for lawyers to provide to their communities. Pro bono work is vital to ensuring those with the greatest need have access to our legal system. Recognizing the importance of pro bono work increases the awareness of the legal needs of our community. Everyone benefits from participating in pro bono—students get a chance to learn in real-world situations, practitioners get a change to mentor law students and give back to our community, and the clients receive the legal assistance they would not otherwise be able to obtain.”