“Our country is a democracy because of the rule of law. When we don’t have justice for everybody, we don’t have justice for anyone.” – Bruce Blackwell
At the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention, Kimberly Sanchez, Ericka Garcia, and Bruce Blackwell discuss legal aid and pro bono representation to help elderly, poor, veteran, disabled, and other legally vulnerable people throughout Florida. Ericka and Bruce work for The Florida Bar Foundation, a leader and funder for legal aid services around the state of Florida. They talk about the growing need for lawyers to offer pro bono services and why they should. Lawyers at the end of their lives don’t remember the big corporate cases, Bruce explains, they remember helping those in need keep a house.
Kimberly is the executive director of legal aid in central Florida. She talks about how her organization receives aid from The Florida Bar Foundation and provides need-based assistance in civil matters like housing, evictions, foreclosures, bankruptcies, and injunctions for domestic violence, among others. With only 45 lawyers on staff, Kimberly’s program relies heavily on Florida lawyers offering pro bono services to fill the gap. Stay tuned to hear how and why you may want to contribute your services.
Bruce Blackwell is CEO of The Florida Bar Foundation, a statewide charitable organization whose mission is to provide greater access to justice. Previously, he was a trial lawyer for 40 years. Bruce is a 5th generation Floridian from North Central Florida.
Ericka Garcia is director of pro bono partnerships at The Florida Bar Foundation where she creates partnerships and collaborations. She started doing pro bono at age 15 as a voluntary day legal aid in Miami. Previously, she was the developmental disabilities attorney for the legal aid society in Orlando, Florida, representing foster children with disabilities.
Kimberly Sanchez is the executive director of Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida (CLSMF). Kimberly is the former advocacy and deputy director of CLSMF, managing litigation and working to create organization-wide litigation goals and vision.