Outstanding volunteers: Alumnae honored for pro bono service at the Florida Supreme Court
Several Stetson Law alumnae were honored at the Supreme Court of Florida on Jan. 19 by the Florida Bar for their work on behalf of poor and indigent clients.
Florida Bar President William J. Schifino Jr. presented the 2017 Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards during a special ceremony to recognize and raise awareness about lawyers who are committed to public service and to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services.
Law alumna Adriana Dinis J.D. ’08 and longtime Stetson adjunct professor Kathlyn Mackovjak of the Immigration Law Group of Florida, based in St. Petersburg, received a law firm commendation for their pro bono work. Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Jorge Lafarge presented the commendation. Last year, the Immigration Law Group of Florida was honored by the Sixth Judicial Circuit for Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Law Firm.
Law alumna Jennifer Edwards J.D./M.B.A. ’14 received the 2017 Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award. She was honored for her work as a guardian ad litem and court-appointed advocate for children in Pinellas County.
Law alumna Lynn Katz Hanshaw J.D. ’99 was honored with the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for her work in the Sixth Judicial Circuit. Hanshaw was a single mother of three who supported her family while completing her education. As a student at Stetson law school, she received the Willam F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award. After graduating from Stetson, Hanshaw worked with Gulfcoast Legal Services, and then went into private practice, where she continues to volunteer to assist the Community Law Program, LawFest, the Pinellas-Hillsborough fair-housing consortium, the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Ask-A-Lawyer program and others.
Law alumna Christina Nieto Seifert J.D. ’94 was honored with a Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for her work in the Third Judicial Circuit. Seifert is the principle in her own law firm in Lake City and volunteers for Three Rivers Legal Services, regularly conducting the pro se divorce clinic. Her pro bono clients are often victims of domestic violence.
Law alumna Michele S. Stephan J.D. ’96 was honored with the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for her work in the 12th Judicial Circuit. She attended Stetson law school on a Public Service Fellowship from the Florida Bar Foundation, where she developed a program to provide legal services to the poor and volunteered at legal clinics. She received the Pro Bono Service Award from Stetson. Today, Stephan serves in solo practice offering unbundled legal services to pro se litigants who cannot afford a lawyer. She works at Legal Aid of Manasota and serves the homeless at Resurrection House day shelter. Stephan earned the 2015 Distinguished Community Service Award from the Sarasota County Bar Association and the Service to the Community Award by Legal Aid of Manasota in 2011, 2014 and 2015.
Law alumna Katherine Earle Yanes J.D. ’97 was honored with the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for her work in the 13th Judicial Circuit. She volunteered hundreds of hours to the Clemency Project 2014, represents clients on a pro bono basis through Crossroads for Florida Kids and works with the Innocence Initiative at Stetson. The Hillsborough County Bar Association awarded Yanes its Marcelino “Bubba” Huerta III Award for Professionalism and Pro Bono Service.
In the past 12 months, Florida lawyers have volunteered approximately 1.7 million hours of pro bono services to people in need and nearly $5.4 million to legal aid organizations.
Post date: Jan. 20, 2017