This year at LSNF we have focused on and worked towards getting back into the community and connecting with so many families and individuals in person to provide legal services.
We have experienced unprecedented growth and worked through so many obstacles. Whether it has been to increase staff, broaden program capacity or enhance our outreach process, these changes allow us to serve and support those in our community.
As the year closes, we have an opportunity to reflect on all the ways LSNF has made an impact this year and learn about all the ways we can continue to serve the community in the new year.
As we inch ever closer to 2023, we would like to take a look back at some of the events LSNF has brought to you during 2022. From our award recognition at Law Day Celebration and Pro Bono Celebration to our lively fundraising events Jazz for Justice in Pensacola and Dancing with the Stars Tallahassee - these are a few events that have allowed us to bring awareness and celebrate our community.
Jazz for Justice
Jazz for Justice is a free event hosted by LSNF, with the support of Foo Foo Festival in Pensacola. This event is family friendly, and open to the public. The event features art from the local community, food trucks, and performances from popular jazz bands, such as 9th Ave Brass Band, Tuba Skinny, and The Soul Rebels. Jazz for Justice raises public awareness and funds for LSNF.
Our Law Day Celebration happens every May near the American Bar Association's designated Law Day. This event shows our support and recognizes local attorneys and judges for their contributions in Florida’s Second Judicial Circuit. These legal professionals provide opportunities for justice for so many people every day, and it’s important to us we continue to celebrate their community contributions!
Dancing with the Stars Tallahassee
Our largest and final event of the year is Dancing with the Stars Tallahassee. We hosted our 5th annual DWTS event at the beginning of December, and raised over $60,000! Last year’s DWTS event was virtual, and, with the help of our sponsors, we were able to bring everyone back together this year for lots of fun, food, and performances. DWTS includes local celebrities that are paired with professional dancers from local dance studios who compete to raise funds, awareness, and win the People’s Choice and Judges’ Choice Awards. We are so grateful for the support from local individuals, businesses, and organizations that help this event each year.
Pro Bono Celebration
LSNF celebrated the volunteer attorneys who help us provide free legal assistance in Florida’s First and Fourteenth Judicial Circuits with Pro Bono Week Celebration. We are grateful to highlight and give praise to these volunteers. After a virtual series last year, we strove to celebrate in person in 2022 with incredible contributions of our keynote speaker, Florida Bar President Gary Lesser. Building strong partnerships with local businesses and non-profit organizations allowed LSNF to execute a successful event this year and honor our volunteers in person in Ft. Walton Beach.
Our current and former staff at LSNF have been recognized several times throughout 2022 for their accomplishments in the community and beyond. Celebrating our coworkers and staff is important to not only us as an organization, but we believe our community needs to know just how special our team is!
Former LSNF employee, Lola Thompson, received the ABA’s Liberty Bell Award during Law Week for her contributions and service to the community!
David Grimes, incoming Vice President of the LSNF Board, will receive the honor of sitting on the Board of Governor’s Second Circuit Seat 1 in 2023!
Two LSNF attorneys, Kim Lauer and Lillian J. Davis, were admitted to the Florida Bar this past year. These two attorneys celebrated their accomplishments with family, friends, colleagues, and staff!
LSNF Managing Attorney, Stephanie Johnson, was awarded the December Fearless Children's Lawyer of the month by The American Bar Association Section of Litigation: Children's Rights Litigation. Stephanie has been advocating for children since 1995, and we are so proud to have her on our team!
Outreach/Advocacy and Job Fairs
LSNFs outreach efforts help individuals learn about their legal rights and responsibilities, enabling them to avoid legal problems and understand how to resolve them when they occur. These outreach events allow low-income residents in North Florida to learn more about how to access legal help.
This year, LSNF attended the FSU College of Law Civic Engagement Fair hosted by the Student Bar Association. This fair gave students the chance to familiarize themselves with legal and professional organizations in the area, and LSNF was able to share some of the many pro bono and paid internship opportunities we have.
Along with the FSU Engagement Fair, former LSNF Pro Bono coordinator, Macie Lavender, got the opportunity to attend the UWF career fair in Pensacola this year. This fair gave students the opportunity to meet with recruiters one-on-one, and Macie was able to share information about what we do at LSNF.
Melissa Ashton and Abigail Chapman are two LSNF employees who had the opportunity to attend Project Annie’s Thanksgiving Celebration this year. Project Annie fed over 1,000 people this Thanksgiving, with the help of volunteers. LSNF was proud to serve, connect, and be a resource to vulnerable people in the area.
J.O.T.B Clinics and Legal Help
Justice on the Block (J.O.T.B) clinics are such a great way for LSNF to get information out there. These clinics are designed to bring awareness, provide information on specific legal topics, and provide resources to people who need them. Whether we discussed post disaster resources or provided an opportunity to learn more about rights for victims of violence, LSNF staff strove to bring access to legal education both virtually and in person this past year.
Partnerships/Community Partner Events
LSNF connected with several partner agencies this year. Meeting with these partners allowed us to share resources and find different ways to support each other. Partnerships are necessary to expand the reach of programs like ours and have a greater impact on the community.
LSNF hosted the Florida Disaster Collaboration Conference (FDCC) this past year. This conference provided a network between first responders, government and non-government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and community partners closely tied with disaster response. The FDCC emphasizes forming collaborative partnerships to benefit disaster survivors, exchanging information and expertise among legal and non-legal responders to disaster, and fostering strong alliances to enhance everyone’s efforts and impact.
The Partner Agency Round Table meetings happen quarterly. These meetings allow many agencies and organizations to support and better the communities they serve.
Partnering with Second Harvest of the Big Bend and Feeding America allowed LSNF to distribute free food to those who need it and educate the community in the fight to end hunger.
Staff participated in the Health Check 22 event with Bond Community Health Center providing access to quality health care for all people in the community.
We are so grateful for all the support we receive each year from sponsors, businesses, organizations, and individuals. We continue to serve more people every year, and we can only do so with your support. Being able to look back and see all the events, clinics, and wonderful things we have accomplished throughout the past year is a reminder to push to be even better in 2023!