For 35 years Florida Legal Services has been the voice for Florida’s poor, disadvantaged, and vulnerable.
FLS has also long defended the rights of these underprivileged and often overlooked citizens, not only in courtrooms, but also in Florida ’s capitol. Until recently, this has been achieved from rented basement offices.
But thanks to the supporters of FLS’ “Building Justice Campaign,” Florida Legal Services now has its own newly renovated office in Tallahassee, named in honor of Paul Doyle, director of the Foundation’s Legal Assistance for the Poor and Law Student Assistance Grant Programs.
Doyle has dedicated four decades of his career to public service.
On Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009, Florida Legal Services hosted the building dedication ceremony to officially name the structure the Paul Doyle Justice Center.
In 1970, Doyle embarked on his life’s work of providing legal assistance to the poor and being a leader in the local, state, and national movement to expand access to civil legal assistance for the poor and disadvantaged.
He was tapped by leaders in the Jacksonville Bar Association to become the executive director of the struggling Duval County Legal Aid Association, now Jacksonville Area Legal Aid, Inc., to reform the association into a true law firm for the poor.
In 1982, Doyle took on the challenge of bringing justice to the extreme poverty of the Appalachian region of Tennessee as the executive director of Legal Services of Upper East Tennessee, Inc.
He returned to Florida in 1986 as executive director of Florida Rural Legal Services, and in the 1990s began working to improve the entire civil legal assistance delivery system in Florida through The Florida Bar Foundation, as director of legal assistance grants.