Samantha Howell | Three Rivers Legal Services Pro Bono Director
I am the new pro bono director at Three Rivers Legal Services Inc.
Since this is my first article in the Jacksonville Bar Association Bar Bulletin, I will share a little about myself.
I was born in Kentucky and lived in New York state for 12 years before moving to Florida in 2019. I am admitted to practice in New York and Florida, and have managed pro bono programs for about a decade. I really enjoy the work.
Over the next year, as we emerge from our COVID shells, I will be expanding Three Rivers’ pro bono opportunities, including restarting in-person clinics, expanding our virtual clinics and leaning up our volunteer recruitment, training and support efforts.
Three Rivers provides training, support, client screening, liability coverage and reimbursements for litigation expenses.
Some of the opportunities:
Telephonic Eviction Clinic
This advice-only clinic is offered 5-6:30 pm every Tuesday.
Appointments are scheduled for 45 minutes. Staff screen and schedule clients, notifying volunteers of their assignments on the Friday (or Monday) prior to the clinic.
Volunteers complete an online form so that Three Rivers knows what advice was given and if any follow-up is needed.
Pro Se Divorce Clinic
The next clinic at our Jacksonville office is 9-11 am Nov. 21.
A volunteer guides participants through the pro se divorce packet for those with minor children.
From 2-4 pm, a volunteer will guide participants seeking a simplified divorce, or filing for divorce without minor children. Three Rivers staff will be present to assist and notarize documents.
Volunteers may participate in both sessions or only one.
We also make limited scope and full representation referrals in a variety of areas such as bankruptcy, special education, family, housing/property, consumer, income maintenance and trusts and estates.
We are in particular need of attorneys to assist with probate cases, guardianship and guardian advocacy and landlord/tenant issues.
In October each year, we celebrate National Pro Bono Week (Oct. 23-29) a time to honor the volunteers that make so much of our work possible.
Three Rivers sends a heartfelt thank you to all of our many volunteers – current and former, attorneys and law students – who have given their time and energy to help our clients.
We could not do what we do without your support.
If you have any questions or would like to participate in any of the events, contact me at [email protected] or 352-415-2315. You can also select an available case and learn more about TRLS’s Pro Bono Legal Assistance Program (PBLAP) at https://www.trls.org/volunteer/
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