The power of pro bono work by lawyers

This year's week, Oct. 22-28, comes at a time when lawyers are especially vital to helping Floridians recover not just from individual crises — but from a natural disaster that affected millions of us.

Op-Ed (Florida)

Hala Sandridge
Tampa Bay Times
October 19, 2017

Tags: Funding: State & Local, Pro Bono

Organizations mentioned/involved: Florida Bar Foundation, Bay Area Legal Services (Tampa) (BALS), Gulf Coast Legal Services


On the heels of Hurricane Irma — and with new arrivals from Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria — the need is even greater for attorneys to step up for the greater good. The past couple of months have clearly demonstrated the fragility of our lives, and as many in our state face challenges, those lacking financial resources are at a distinct disadvantage.

For most of us, when the lights and appliances turn back on, the crisis is over. But for low-income disaster survivors, it’s often just the beginning. Civil legal help is a critical element of long-term recovery. Without it people can be denied insurance, federal disaster relief or veterans benefits because their documents have been lost or destroyed or because they lack clear title to their property.