The Florida Bar will recognize 22 lawyers, including one from Miami-Dade County, for their work on behalf of low-income and disadvantaged clients during a Jan. 30 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.
Established in 1981, The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards are intended to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the poor. The annual awards recognize those who make public service commitments and raise public awareness of the volunteer services provided by Florida lawyers. Florida Bar President John M. Stewart will present the 2020 awards.
The awards recognize pro bono service in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits (with two honorees this year in the 14th Circuit) as well as service by one Florida Bar member practicing outside the state of Florida. They are presented annually in conjunction with the Tobias Simon Pro Bono Service Award, which is given by the chief justice of the Florida Supreme Court. Awards recognizing pro bono contributions also will be presented in the categories of Distinguished Judicial Service, Distinguished Federal Judicial Service, Law Firm Commendation, Voluntary Bar Association and Young Lawyers Division.
By the latest available reporting period, Florida attorneys collectively provided more than 1.6 million hours of free legal service and, in addition, more than 24,000 hours were provided through law firms, along with donations of more than $6.2 million in legal aid.
This year’s ceremony is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 30, 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida. Watch it at http://wfsu.org/gavel2gavel and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/floridasupremecourt and The Florida Channel.
Honored for his wirk in the 11th Judicial Circuit (Miami0Dade County),
Joshua Byrne Spector credits the University of Miami School of Law’s HOPE Public Interest Resource Center and its founder, assistant dean Marni Lennon, for instilling a habit of public service in him and other Miami Law students.
Since graduating in 2002, Spector has embodied that spirit of public service and spent countless hours helping others. While volunteering with Lawyers for Children America, he represented more than a dozen clients in the foster care system including one case that spanned more than eight years. In 2009, Spector had the privilege of arguing on behalf of a pro bono client before the Florida Supreme Court in a case assigned by The Florida Bar Appellate Practice Section.
Over the past two years, Spector represented Florida’s Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office in numerous appeals. The office honored him with a Children’s Champion Award in 2019. In the past two years, Spector devoted more than 265 hours on eight cases for the GAL Program. His efforts have helped numerous children reach permanency.
Founded in 1949, The Florida Bar serves the legal profession for the protection and benefit of both the public and all Florida lawyers. As one of the nation’s largest mandatory bars,
The Florida Bar fosters and upholds a high standard of integrity and competence within Florida’s legal profession as an official arm of the Florida Supreme Court. To learn more, visit FloridaBar.org.