Volunteer Legal Services – Honoring Suzanne Covington
On June 11, 2015, Volunteer Legal Services (VLS) recognized the Honorable Suzanne Covington at the Pro Bono Awards reception hosted by Graves Dougherty Hearon & Moody. It was an early evening attended by members of the legal community, including Sustainability Society Members who have committed to a $1,000.00 annual membership donation. Steve Elliot, the Executive Director of Volunteer Legal Services filled the room with heartfelt remarks about the pro bono services provided by Suzanne Covington. Suzanne, then, shared her positive ‘feel good’ experience with the organization over the years and, just short of pointing her finger at each and every one of us, commanded our attention and stressed the importance of volunteer services. After a few short minutes, we found ourselves nodding in the affirmative.
Later in the evening, various members who work tirelessly to promote the mission for VLS shared stories of members of our community who had received pro bono legal services through VLS and how those services made a meaningful impact in their life. As lawyers, we have a duty to provide access to justice. It is undisputed that there is a large population of our community who simply do not have the resources to gain access to justice. However, lawyers are not always in a position to take a case and receive zero compensation. Therefore, there are many, many other ways to contribute to VLS. There are opportunities for lawyers to volunteer to give free legal advice at VLS Legal Clinics for approximately 2 hours each month. Likewise, monetary donations will gladly be accepted by VLS by anyone – not just members of the legal community. The reality is that VLS will never have sufficient funds or manpower to cover the needs and demands that exists.
As Suzanne Covington expressed, grab the opportunity to feel good and donate or volunteer at the Volunteer Legal Services of Central Texas. www.vlsoct.org