Beasley Allen is the 2021 Pro Bono Fairness Award winner. This award is sponsored by Legal Services Alabama (LSA), who debuted the award last year. The award recognizes persons or law firms in Alabama that demonstrate a consistent commitment to pro bono work and access to justice. The inaugural honoree was Mary Margaret Bailey of Mobile. Ms. Bailey is the current President of the Alabama Law Foundation and was previously President of the Mobile Bar Foundation.
Legal Services Alabama’s Mission
LSA serves low-income people by providing civil legal aid and promoting collaboration to find solutions to poverty-related problems. In 2004, LSA formed from the merger of three legal services organizations in Alabama – the Montgomery-based Legal Services Corporation of Alabama, the Metro Birmingham Legal Services, and the Huntsville-based Legal Services of North-Central Alabama. Building on these three organizations’ incredible advocacy, LSA continues this legacy by providing high-quality advocacy to over 10,000 low-income Alabamians.
Beasley Allen is honored to be recognized by LSA for our dedication to ensuring that Alabama’s underserved and disenfranchised populations can access the civil justice system. We are thankful for LSA’s support for our firm and other lawyers across the state as we all donate time, knowledge and skills.
Helping Those Who Need It Most
People familiar with our firm know that our motto is “helping those who need it most.” Our motto is more than mere words for lawyers and staff alike. It is a passion that drives us to do what we do for our clients. That commitment includes providing pro bono legal services. As the firm has grown, expanding to multiple office locations and taking many complex cases nationwide, it is essential to have a central repository for its pro bono work.
Beasley Allen created a Pro Bono Coordinator position in 2020 and selected Leslie Pescia as the first. Leslie manages the firm’s pro bono activities and serves as the point person for handling pro bono cases across each of the firm’s practice sections and office locations. Our lawyers donate hundreds of pro bono hours each year, handling cases and projects organized by various volunteer lawyer programs.
The Fairness Award is one of three awards LSA will present during its 2021 Justice, Fairness and Hope Awards reception. This event will be held virtually on May 5. The LSA will also present retired Judge John H. England Jr. (Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court) the Tommy Wells Justice Award. Stacey Abrams will receive the Congressman John Lewis Hope Award.
Pro Bono Service in the Era of COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the country in 2020, legal issues surrounding the virus added to existing social justice issues. The Legal Services Corporation, a national nonprofit that is a parent organization of LSA, received $50 million through the 2020 CARES Act stimulus package Congress passed in response to COVID-19. LSA received a portion of the CARES Act money, which it will use to fund the Fellowship’s first year. Currently, LSA supports six fellows and funds raised during the Justice, Fairness & Hope Awards virtual reception will help maintain funding for the Fellows’ program.
WATCH: Managing Attorney Tom Methvin accepts LSA Fairness Award