by Waine Riches
This may go down as the single most exciting year of my twenty years in practice, the year in which we all decided once and for all to seriously tackle the most glaring problem faced by our profession, the lack of access to Utah's legal system by the vast majority of low and middle income Utahns. I want to praise Professor Linda Smith and Bar President Debra Moore, as well as the the S.J. Quinney College of Law and the Utah State Bar for their efforts in this year's Fordham Debates calling for a state plan to achieve access to justice. I would also like to praise Chief Justice Durham who furthered the concept of a state planning process in her State of the Judiciary speech. And I would like to say a word of thanks to the Utah State Legislature who put a bur under everyone's saddle with the threat of implementing the amended unauthorized practice of law statute unless we attorneys showed some serious progress towards fixing the access to justice problem. Now that the notion of a state plan is out in the open, let's go after it with a vengeance. Let's look at all of the possibilities, pick the ones that seem the most likely to lead to success and get to work implementing them.
Continue reading "Creating Access to Justice: Moving Toward Success A View From the Trenches" »
by Nick Angelides
My experiences in providing pro bono assistance at Utah Legal Services here in Salt Lake City this past year have been most gratifying and interesting.
Generally, I help out a few hours a week in the Senior Lawyer Volunteer Project providing legal services to low income people, mostly seniors, and in the Possession Bond Project by providing representation to low income tenants facing eviction actions at possession bond hearings.
Continue reading "Pro Bono at ULS" »
by Charles R. B. Stewart
The Utah State Bar Pro Bono Program was created in 1996 pursuant to the recommendation of the Bar's Delivery of Legal Services Committee. The program conducts a number of projects to enhance pro bono work within the state of Utah. The Pro Bono Program also coordinates with other organizations to further their pro bono goals.
Continue reading "Utah State Bar Pro Bono Program" »
by Fred Anderson
Utah Legal Services, a non-profit agency providing essential legal services to those who are living in poverty, is fortunate to have pro bono attorneys and law students who willingly share their expertise and a portion of their time to address the legal needs of the less fortunate. Todd Richardson, an inactive member of the Utah State Bar, is a very special volunteer. He is married and has five children, and formerly practiced law. Todd began volunteering in February 2003. He was familiar with Utah's legal forms, statutes, and processes, so he was a natural fit. He speaks fluent Spanish and we needed an interpreter to help in clinics in Tooele, Farmington, and Salt Lake City. Todd has made the pro se clinics effective for both English and Spanish speaking attendees with a variety of basic legal problems and has helped to translate clinic materials into Spanish.
Continue reading "Pro Bono Profile: Todd Richardson" »
by Mary Boudreau
Whether nationally or in Utah, attorneys generously serve the indigent in many settings, by adding pro bono work to their regular law practices or by committing their entire careers to that service. Opportunities to serve are practically unlimited, so long as you have the generosity to volunteer for even short periods of time. Lack of specialized legal experience is almost never a bar to pro bono work. In one state, a corporation's in-house legal department initiated a public immigration law clinic, supporting it both financially and with volunteers from its own staff, tutored in the law they needed to learn. A large civil law firm on the East Coast committed extensive attorney time to death row representation of a Texas inmate.
Continue reading "Why & Where Utah Attorneys Volunteer & Provide Public Service" »
by Dan Hindert
Typically, we get to choose our pro bono projects. Other times, pro bono projects have a way of finding us (like that call from federal court assigning a prisoner's case). At Parsons Behle & Latimer, we recently helped a Tibetan family by doing an unusual pro bono project that didn't come about in either of these ways. Here's what happened.
Continue reading "Building a Tibetan Family's Home - Pro Bono and Quite by Accident" »
by Linda F. Smith
Jensie Anderson entered the U of U law school in 1990 hoping to develop a career that made a difference to people and to the law that affected them. She has done so, many times over, through her pro bono efforts.
Continue reading "Pro Bono Profile: Jenise Anderson" »
by Su Chon
EDITOR'S NOTE: There are so many laudable pro bono legal services groups in Utah. The Journal wishes it could profile them all. Here is only one fine example. If we could profile each one, we would end each with the subheading "Pro Bono Opportunities."
The Multi-Cultural Legal Center ("MLC") is a unique and innovative 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to use and strengthen Utah's system of justice to ensure that racial and ethnic communities receive equal treatment and access to legal representation.
Continue reading "The Multi-Cultural Legal Center" »
by Gary L. Johnson
Who let the greedy in
And who left the needy out
Who made this salty soup1
For a number of years I had the privilege of serving on the Leadership Committee of And Justice For All. While I am not sure my fellow committee members were all that sorry to see me move on to new challenges, I will miss my participation in this endeavor because it is an unrecognized, but integral, component of our profession and of the society in which we live.
Continue reading "The Salty Soup: Some Thoughts on Access to Civil Justice" »
by David Dominguez
“Lawyers have killed off more groups than ever would have died if the lawyers had never showed up. . .The lawyers want to advocate for others and do not understand the goal of giving a people a sense of their own power. Traditional lawyer advocacy creates dependency and not interdependency. With most lawyers there is no leadership development. . .They don't understand community, they don't understand organizing, they don't understand leadership development.”1
Continue reading "Community Lawyering" »
by Anne Milne
Lauren I. Scholnick is a partner in the firm of Strindberg & Scholnick, LLC. She has been volunteering at the Guadalupe Center's legal clinic since 1999.
For the last five years, Lauren Scholnick has been volunteering one Tuesday night a month at Guadalupe Center legal clinic. Lauren says she volunteers after work, "because I know how hard it is to get legal help within our system. It is often confusing and frustrating for people to figure out what they should do when confronted with a legal problem even if they speak English. By helping those who primarily speak Spanish at the Guadalupe, we are able to help people with language barriers access and navigate the system to solve their legal problems. That language barrier means that many people are taken advantage of."
Continue reading "Pro Bono Profile: Lauren I. Scholnick" »
by TantaLisa Clayton
For over ten years, the Needs of the Elderly Committee has sponsored a very successful pro bono project. This project provides legal assistance to the patrons of Salt Lake County senior centers. Volunteer attorneys have scheduled appointments to meet with elderly individuals at the senior centers to assess the individuals need for legal and/or community services. The volunteer attorneys may make referrals to other attorneys or to relevant community resources. They may decide to take a case. However, the volunteer attorneys cannot represent the individual unless it is done on a pro bono basis.
Continue reading "Needs of Elderly Committee Pro Bono Project" »
If you are thinking that you might like to render pro bono assistance, you might want to consider two legal clinics that currently need help: The Clinic for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Clinic for Spanish Speakers.
Continue reading "Two Places to Use Your Skills" »
During its regularly scheduled meeting of March 11, 2004 which was held in St. George, Utah, the Board of Bar Commissioners received the following reports and took the actions indicated.
Continue reading "State Bar News" »
On December 31, 2003, the Honorable Roger S. Dutson, Second Judicial District Court, publicly reprimanded Samuel J. Conklin for violation of Rules 1.3 (Diligence), 1.4(a) (Communication), 1.5(b) and (c) (Fees), 1.15(b) (Safekeeping Property), 8.1(b) (Bar Admission and Disciplinary Matters), and 8.4(a) (Misconduct) of the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Continue reading "Discipline Corner" »
by Sanda R. Kirkham, Chair - Paralegal Division
On October 16, 2003 the Utah Supreme Court accepted the report of its Advisory Committee on Professionalism and approved the twenty Standards of Professionalism and Civility recommended in the report. As chair of the Professionalism Committee, Justice Michael J. Wilkins of the Utah Supreme Court, has been asked by the Court to focus on methods to make the Standards of Professionalism and Civility the behavioral norms for the Utah legal profession. He strongly urges support from Utah State Bar members.
Continue reading "We Have Signed On" »