• 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

  • Foundation receives $21,000 cy pres award

    The Florida Bar Foundation has received a $21,406 cy pres award from a settlement in a case involving fees charged by payday loan companies. Two cases were consolidated for the settlement that resulted in the cy pres award. The cases arose from the class representatives’ firm belief many years ago

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    Foundation raises $63,665 for Loan Repayment Assistance Program at dinner

    By Carley Conrod At the 43rd Annual Dinner and Reception on June 27, more than $63,000 was raised in support of the Foundation’s Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Through LRAP, the Foundation helps legal aid organizations recruit and retain high-quality lawyers. It does this by funding a $5,000 annual paydown

  • Milstein accepting award on stage

    Richard C. Milstein receives Medal of Honor Award

    Richard C. Milstein received the 2019 Medal of Honor for a lawyer at the Foundation’s Annual Reception and Dinner for his exemplary and unending capacity for pro bono work as a volunteer guardian ad litem for more than 35 years, his leadership and advocacy for marriage equality and civil rights,

  • Bedke receives award

    Michael A. Bedke receives Medal of Honor Award

    Michael A. Bedke, a real estate partner in the DLA Piper Tampa office, received the 2019 Medal of Honor for a Lawyer for his exceptional dedication to providing pro bono service, his remarkable advocacy for AIDS patients and domestic violence survivors both locally and internationally, his invaluable support developing the

  • law student and lawyer

    Pro Bono Law School Challenge benefits mentor, law student and clients

    After scouring the internet for legal help and finding the cost of a bankruptcy lawyer overwhelming, an elderly couple approached Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF). What might have seemed like an everyday occurrence at a legal aid program would become enlightening for law student Jonathan Levy. He and his