Welcome back to our Spring Break Pro Bono Highlights series. Today, we are featuring Florida Coastal School of Law, which sent students to volunteer with two legal aid organizations during spring break 2017.
One of group of students did pro bono work with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA). According to the Jacksonville Area Legal Aid website, they are “a non-profit law firm dedicated to providing free civil legal assistance to those who could not otherwise afford it.” Jacksonville Area Legal Aid serves residents in Northeastern Florida. The Florida Coastal students working with JALA assisted clients by completing name change petitions and advance directives.
Another group of Florida Coastal students volunteered with Three Rivers Legal Services. Three Rivers Legal Services website states that it “is a non-profit law firm dedicated to the provision of quality legal assistance to the poor, abused, disabled and neglected, and to empowerment through preventive legal education.” Three Rivers Legal Services serves clients in Northern Florida. Florida Coastal students volunteering with Three Rivers worked on a variety of projects, such as drafting court documents, preparing training materials, and translating for clients.
Xavier Romero, a second semester student at Florida Coastal School of Law, shared some thoughts about his experience doing pro bono during spring break.
“On my first spring break of law school, I was fortunate to have the opportunity through Florida Coastal and Pro Bono Director, Karen Millard, to work with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid helping the underserved members of our community. Throughout the week, we wrote petitions for name changes for members of the LGBT community and helped write advance directives for those who could not afford to on their own. Practicing attorneys in the area taught us about the current legal issues the days before and oversaw our work as we met with clients the following days.
As the first in my family to go to law school, it was an incredibly reaffirming experience it was for me. It was a great chance to help others while learning about the practical application of law. I was able to see first-hand the difference an attorney can make, I was able to learn more about contemporary legal issues, and gain practical experience all at the same time. I could not have spent my time on spring break any better.”
Thank you to all of the law students for your hard work this spring break and for sharing your stories with us here at the Center for Pro Bono Exchange! Keep up the great work!