• Dr. Mimi Graham receives 2020 Medal of Honor Award for a Non-Lawyer

    Dr. Mimi Graham, director of Florida State University’s Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy, has been honored with the 2020 Medal of Honor for a Non-Lawyer for her dedicated efforts over the course of her career researching and promoting trauma-informed court programs. Since 1993, she has worked to tackle

  • EJW Fellow advocates for the future of human trafficking survivors

    By Deana Alegi Victoria Sexton, a 2019-21 Equal Justice Works Fellow funded by the Foundation, provides civil legal aid and advocates for the rights of human trafficking survivors in Broward County. Sexton’s goals are to assist as many survivors as possible and raise awareness of her fellowship and the effect

  • Message from the President – Fall 2020

    The American legal system is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. But the system can be too complicated to navigate without legal assistance. Lawyers in the private bar are too often beyond the financial reach of too many Floridians. Low-income and impoverished Floridians can sometimes obtain help from legal aid programs

  • Foundation awards $1.45 million in coronavirus relief grants

    The Florida Bar Foundation has awarded $1,454,993 in grants to 24 legal aid organizations for COVID-19 relief efforts. “There is an urgent need for legal services arising from the pandemic and the resulting economic downturn,” Foundation President Stephen R. Senn said. “Many Floridians are finding themselves newly out of work

  • Judges Fay, King receive Medal of Honor Award for a Lawyer

    The Honorable Peter T. Fay and the Honorable James Lawrence King have received The Florida Bar Foundation’s 2020 Medal of Honor Award for a Lawyer, the Foundation’s highest honor. Fay, a senior U.S. circuit judge of the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, and King, a senior judge for the Southern

  • Guardians ad litem funded by Foundation change one life at a time

    “It wouldn’t have been a happy story or a success story,” says Melissa Whitted, reflecting on what it would have been like for her and her husband to adopt their now seventeen-year-old twins without the help of legal aid. Whitted, who works as a dispatcher for Lynx Transportation in Orlando,

  • Legal aid programs prepare, respond in face of COVID-19

    As the reality of stay-at-home orders, social distancing and closed businesses set in for Floridians in mid-March, the state’s civil legal aid programs and the Foundation came together to prepare for providing legal services during the COVID-19 pandemic. Foundation and legal aid staff members acted quickly to transition to remote

  • Hala Sandridge

    Message from the President – Spring 2020

    I hope this newsletter finds you and your family healthy during this unique and unprecedented time. While there have been and will continue to be many challenges, I am buoyed by the resiliency and hard-working spirit of the organizations the Foundation supports. In March, as the significance of the coronavirus

  • mother and daughter walking outside

    Domestic violence survivors turn to legal aid for divorce, support

    One night during the summer of 2018, Elizabeth* waited outside her home for her husband to let her back in to get her two young daughters. He had punched her and dragged her outside, barricading himself inside with the girls. (*Name and likeness have been changed to protect the privacy

  • Hala Sandridge

    Message from the President – Winter 2020

    When most of us think about legal aid, we think about lawyers on the front lines serving clients. But, there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes to ensure that those lawyers have the resources and flexibility they need to provide effective direct legal services. In December,

  • infographic showing grant recipients

    Foundation awards $6.4 million in Community Economic Development grants

    The Florida Bar Foundation board on Dec. 13 approved $6,443,162 in grants to 25 legal aid providers to address community economic development. Following a $16.65 billion settlement agreement between Bank of America (BOA) and the Department of Justice in 2014, BOA agreed to resolve federal and state claims by making

  • Woman speaking at podium

    Trafficking prevention rule adopted by state board of education

    During the fall 2019 semester, law students from the Florida State University College of Law Human Trafficking Exploitation Law Project (HELP) advocated for proposed Florida Department of Education (DOE) rule 6A-1.094123, requiring all Florida school districts to teach human trafficking prevention from elementary school through high school. The law students