Pro Bono


State Bar of Arizona Find a Lawyer logo

Imagine a way to assist consumers in locating an attorney – at the widest possible range of price points – and doing so in a way that helps lawyers obtain clients and develop their law practice.

That imaginative effort culminates today in the launch of web portal Find-a-Lawyer by the State Bar of Arizona.

How appropriate that the launch is on Law Day – an annual event that celebrates the role of law in society.

According to the State Bar, more than 8,000 Arizona lawyers have already updated their online profiles – which means they will receive matches with potential clients who post in the new tool that they are seeking legal assistance.

A first of its kind, the Find-a-Lawyer website allows consumers to control the process of finding and hiring an attorney through a safe and reliable platform. Find-a-Lawyer is accessible through smartphones, tablets and desktop computers via azbar.org to find legal help in three easy steps:

  • Summarizing their legal need Consumers will post their legal needs anonymously, quickly and for free. They will also choose what they can afford to pay.
  • Receiving emails from lawyers Lawyers who are interested in working on the consumer’s legal project will contact the consumer via email.
  • Review and Select a Lawyer Consumers will review emails from lawyers and will then select the lawyer who best fits their needs.

What follows is some more background about Find-a-Lawyer.

Facing a legal problem can be intimidating. Hiring a lawyer shouldn’t be. That’s why the State Bar of Arizona has created a new online tool to connect consumers with lawyers that’s free and easy. The new Find-a-Lawyer puts consumers in control.

According to a 2017 legal trends report, the most common way consumers find lawyers is through a referral. A friend or family member may recommend someone. But, what if no one in your circle knows a lawyer? What if that lawyer isn’t practicing in the right area?

The new Find-a-Lawyer gives consumers the ability to find lawyers in a safe and stress-free way.

How does it work?

State Bar of Arizona Find a Lawyer screenshot

Consumers start by going to the State Bar’s website, AZBar.org. Next, they’ll click on the Find-a-Lawyer button. They can then start the process of finding a lawyer. They’ll have the chance to post a brief summary of their problem and choose a practice area like bankruptcy or divorce.

Next, they’ll have the option of saying how much they can afford. They can choose low, medium or high. But the website makes it clear that the amount paid likely affects the amount of experience. As with many other professions, the more the consumer is willing to pay, the greater the level of expertise they’ll receive.

A 2014 research project done by the Texas A&M University School of Law found that providing legal services for people with lower incomes is an area of great concern. It pointed out that while more than 81 million households earned less than the median income of $51,017 in 2012, many of these individuals made too much to qualify for free legal services. The new Find-a-Lawyer will give people in lower incomes the ability to find the right lawyer at the right price.

Once the legal project is posted, Arizona lawyers who practice in that area of law will get an email about the case. They can respond to the consumer with information about how they can help, including information about price. If the consumer gets multiple responses, they can choose which lawyer will meet their needs.

People who have limited financial means can also post cases. They’ll be asked to provide information about their income and the number of people in their home. Lawyers willing to help can contact the individuals directly, although it’s important to point out there are only a limited number of free cases handled each year.

While lawyers will pay an annual fee to respond to cases, there is no charge per case and no fee splitting. That potentially means lower costs to the consumer.

Find-a-Lawyer can be easily accessed by smartphones, tablets and desktop computers, making it a next-generation tool. It makes the process of hiring an attorney painless and puts the consumer in control.

To learn more just go to AZBar.org and click Find-a-Lawyer.

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News from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez, Public Relations Manager at the State Bar of Arizona:

sba_logo_color State Bar of ArizonaThe State Bar of Arizona and ABC15 held the year’s first Let Joe Know, Ask a Lawyer Phone Bank on Wednesday, January 10. This new partnership between the Bar and ABC15 is proving to be a valuable resource for our community as volunteer lawyers answered an impressive 166 calls during the two-hour phone bank focused on family law.

The Bar’s role as a partner and organizer of the phone bank is to help connect ABC15 viewers, and the community at large, with licensed attorneys for sound legal advice.

ABC15 logo

The following is a brief recap of the phone bank:

 Nine attorneys volunteered at the 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. event:

  • Angela Duhon, Duhon Law
  • Rachel Frazier Johnson, Rachel Frazier Johnson Law
  • Paul A. Jozef, Center for Complete Communication
  • Diana K. March, Law Offices of March & March
  • Robert A. March, Law Offices of March & March
  • Sonia Martinez, Law Office of Sonia Martinez
  • Ashley B. Rahaman, Stewart Law Group
  • Daniel A. Rodriguez, Law Office of Daniel A. Rodriguez
  • Billie Tarascio, Modern Law
Joe Ducey of ABC15's Let Joe Know program

Joe Ducey of ABC15’s Let Joe Know program

ABC15’s Joe Ducey used his Let Joe Know Facebook page to promote the phone bank and encouraged social media enthusiasts to ask their questions during his live broadcast. He also had lawyers answer their questions during the newscast. An additional 14 consumers were helped via social media.

The Bar thanks the attorney volunteers for committing their time and expertise to consumers through this access to justice program. And it thanks ABC15 for its continued partnership with the Bar, which provides this valuable program to its viewers.

Click here for quick video recap.

Abogados a Su Lado Phone Bank 06-15-17 pro bono State Bar of Arizona lawyers and UnivisionAZ

A small but mighty band of Arizona lawyers offered free family law advice at a June 15 phone bank.

News from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez, Public Information and Community Outreach at the State Bar of Arizona:

The State Bar of Arizona and Univision Arizona hosted an Abogados a Su Lado (attorneys on your side) phone bank Thursday, June 15, 2017. This access-to-justice program was held to connect the Spanish-speaking community with volunteer attorneys who could help address their family law issues in their language.

sba_logo_color State Bar of ArizonaThe event, held from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., focused on family law. Here are the attorneys who volunteered their time and abilities:

  • Sylvina Cotto, Cotto Law Firm
  • Carlos Mendez, Slack-Mendez Law Firm
  • Daniel Rodriguez, Diaz Rodriguez & Associates
  • Javier Sobampo, Sobampo Law Firm

These volunteer attorneys answered 25 calls regarding family law issues during the two-hour phone bank.

Sample questions included:

  • How do I file for divorce? Do I need an attorney?
  • Does my spouse have to agree to a divorce? Can I file if my spouse is in Mexico?
  • I would like to give my mother guardianship of my children in case of emergency, how do I do that?
  • How do I petition for parenting time?

The State Bar thanks them for committing their time and experience to consumers through this access to justice program. It also thanks Univision Arizona for its continued partnership in providing this valuable program for the Spanish-speaking community.

Univision-Arizona logo cropped

28 attorneys as well as multiple other volunteers assisted at Legal Clinics on Law Day, held in Arizona on April 29, 2017.

28 attorneys as well as multiple other volunteers assisted at Legal Clinics on Law Day, held in Arizona on April 29, 2017.

News from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez, Public Information and Community Outreach, at the State Bar of Arizona:

On Saturday, April 29, the State Bar of Arizona held the 2017 Law Day Legal Aid Clinics where 28 volunteer lawyers offered free one-on-one legal consultations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at two Valley locations.

Volunteer attorneys provided 214 consultations during five-hour law clinic to the 205 consumers who were seen. Several attorneys offered free follow-up services after the clinic to consumers who needed additional help.

State Bar of Arizona logoThe clinics offered free legal consultations by members who practice family law, bankruptcy/foreclosure, probate/trust law, and immigration law at State Bar of Arizona offices in central Phoenix, and Glendale Community College in the west valley.

For the third year in a row, the Bar partnered with ABC15 and Univision Arizona to promote the day-long clinics, which were overwhelmingly successful.

The State Bar of Arizona expresses its sincerest appreciation to our attorney and logistics volunteers, along with our media and community partners. Thank you!

Here is a list of the attorneys who assisted:

  • Taylor Anderson, Anderson and Cabrera Law Group PLLC
  • Marysol Angulo, Hernandez Global
  • Rebecca E. Browning, Browning Law Office PLLC
  • Tabitha Cabrera, Anderson and Cabrera Law Group PLLC
  • Craig Cherney, Canterbury Law Group LLP
  • Kristen DeWitt-Lopez, DeWitt-Lopez Law PC
  • Thomas W. Dorsey, The Law Office of Thomas W. Dorsey PLLC
  • Nina J. Edidin, My Az Lawyers
  • Pam Florian, Florence Project
  • Chris D. Graham, Christopher D. Graham PLLC
  • Cody L. Hayes, Hayes Esquire PLLC
  • Brant Hodyno, Brant Hodyno, Esq.
  • Bernard J. Johnsen, Bernard Justice Johnsen Law PLLC
  • Lisa Johnson Stone, Law Offices of Stone and Davis PC
  • Jeff Katz, Community Legal Services
  • Roman A. Kostenko, Law Office of Roman A. Kostenko PLC
  • Richard Lee, Community Legal Services
  • Jack L. O’Connor III, Curry, Pearson & Wooten PLC
  • Alane M. Ortega, Law Office of Alane M. Ortega PLLC
  • Daniel R. Ortega III, The Law Office of Daniel R. Ortega III
  • Christopher J. Piekarski, Piekarski & Brelsford PC
  • Jim T. Rayburn, Rayburn Law Office
  • Javier Sobampo, The Sobampo Law Firm PLLC
  • Fae Sowders, Sowders Law
  • Shawn L. Stone, Stone Law Group
  • Shufan Sung, Sung Law Group
  • Darren D. Whiting, Whiting Legal LLC
  • Jesi L. Wolnick, Manning & Kass Ellrod Ramirez Trester

A complete list of volunteers can be viewed here.

 

Abogados a Su Lado on immigration 03-01-17

Attorneys assist at Abogados a Su Lado phone bank, March 1, 2017.

News from my colleague Alberto Rodriguez:

The State Bar of Arizona and Univision Arizona hosted the first Abogados a Su Lado (attorneys on your side) phone bank of the year on Wednesday, March 1, 2017. This access to justice program was held to help the immigrant community understand the impact of the President’s Executive Orders.

The Bar’s role as a partner and organizer of the phone bank was to help the immigrant community connect with licensed attorneys for sound legal advice. The immigrant community is often victimized by notarios and document preparers during high-profile activity associated with immigration law.

The phone bank on immigration law was held on Wednesday, March 1, from 5:00 to 10:30 p.m.

sba_logo_color State Bar of ArizonaThere were nine volunteer attorneys:

  • Marisol Angulo, Hernandez Global
  • Emilia Banuelos, Banuelos Law Office
  • Vanessa Black, Vanessa Black Law Immigration Law Firm
  • Joshua De La Ossa, De La Ossa & Ramos
  • Seth B. Draper, Salvatierra Law Group
  • Judy Flanagan, Judy C. Flanagan, PC
  • Ayensa Millan, CIMA Law Group
  • Edwin G. Ramos, De La Ossa & Ramos
  • Javier Sobampo, Sobampo Law Firm

Volunteer attorneys answered 381 calls regarding immigrant rights and changes in immigration law during the five-and-a-half-hour phone bank.

We thank the attorneys as well as Univision Arizona for its continued partnership in providing this valuable program for the Spanish-speaking community. We also thank the volunteers from Mi Familia Vota who helped with event logistics.

In partnership with the Florence Project, The Rogue Trio will perform February 24 at ASU's Katzin Hall.

In partnership with the Florence Project, The Rogue Trio will perform February 24 at ASU’s Katzin Hall.

This month’s headlines were filled with developments regarding immigration law and significant changes that are proposed for its enforcement.

If you’re seeking a very creative way to be imbued with the immigrant experience, an event this Friday night at ASU may be the (free) ticket—or the boleto, if you’d prefer.

Florence Project logo 25 years

As organizers describe it: For one night only, The Rogue Trio partners with the Florence Project to create a unique musical experience, featuring testimony of Florence Project clients. Making his southwest debut, composer Ralph Lewis takes powerful testimony of immigrants detained in Arizona and combines their accounts with live and electroacoustic music for a moving musical juxtaposition that brings hope amongst fear.

Did you catch that? Migrant testimony in combination with music.

florence-project-rogue-trio-immigration-music-event

The performance will be held at Arizona State University’s Katzin Hall on Friday, February 24, at 7:30 p.m. Doors will open at 7:15 p.m., and admission is free. Parking information can be found here. If you have any questions, reach out to Greer Millard at gmillard@firrp.org or 602-795-7407. More information on the The Rogue Trio is here.

And who are The Rogue Trio? They are: Justin Rollefson on saxophones, Kathleen Strahm on violin, and Mary Strobel-Price on piano. They describe their work as “a contemporary chamber ensemble that explores the diverse color palate of an unconventional assortment of instruments.” Color me interested. You can visit their website here, and find them on Facebook here.

Meantime, in other legal news related to the high-profile nature of immigration cases today, here’s an ABA Journal article about a website that connects volunteer lawyers with travelers affected by the immigration ban.

As ABA Journal reporter Debra Cassens Weiss writes, “Airport Lawyer allows users to input information about people targeted by the ban who are traveling to the United States—whether it’s the user, a friend or family member. The information can be shared with lawyers who can be available at the airport to monitor arrivals. … A list of the airports where volunteer lawyers are available through the app is here.”

airport-lawyer-website-connects-volunteer-lawyers-with-travelers-affected-by-immigration-ban

AZCourtHelp logo

Here is some important news from the Arizona Supreme Court. This information may be helpful to you, but it may be even more vital to friends, neighbors, and family members.

PHOENIX – A new website launched on January 12 to offer basic assistance to people of all walks of life who have legal questions or need assistance in resolving disputes in court. AzCourtHelp.org is organized by topic and geographical location to help people find the court locations, forms, and other information they may need.

Geographical information includes court locations, maps, hours, payment terms, parking, and accessibility information. The site also features live chat forums to assist with legal information, legal talk clinics on popular topics, and other information helpful to self-represented individuals. Frequently asked questions are arranged by topic so users can quickly find the information that is most helpful to their situation. The site will also include video tutorials, webinars, and a calendar of free legal workshops around Arizona.

AZCourtHelp.org has a presence on Facebook as a way to expand its reach.

The backbone of the website’s video and interactive component is the Coconino County Superior Court’s Virtual Resource Center, which will be hosting the video outreach for statewide viewing.

gary-krcmarik

Gary Krcmarik, Coconino County Superior Court Administrator

“The Chief Justice challenged us to work together to improve access to justice,” said Coconino County Superior Court Administrator Gary Krcmarik. “We took up that challenge by developing this website in conjunction with our Virtual Resource Center to provide this valuable information statewide. We are grateful to the Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education, which graciously partnered with us to design the website and curate the information on it.”

Krcmarik said that today’s public launch is a beginning of a larger effort and more information, including Spanish-language content, will be added to the site on a daily and weekly basis.

Like AzCourtHelp.org on Facebook.

AZFLSE Arizona Foundation for Legal Services and Education logo

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