AVLF develops and coordinates programs that provide legal representation, education, and advocacy for at-risk, low-income individuals. They do this by tapping into the enthusiasm and commitment of volunteer legal professionals to address the unmet civil legal needs in the Atlanta community. For the Saturday Lawyer program, AVLF pre-screens potential cases. Then, lawyers who have signed up to volunteer on a given Saturday meet with the eligible clients and assist them with consumer debt, landlord-tenant disputes, and unpaid wage claims.
Coastal Law’s Atlanta alumni chapter was the first law school to “sponsor” a Saturday Lawyer program by providing a complete roster of volunteers, all of whom were Coastal alums. Clark Wilson, Atlanta alumni chapter vice president was instrumental in developing this partnership with AVLF. In a success story from this pro bono effort, Coastal alum James Clifton of The Clifton Law Firm, successfully appealed a debt-buyer’s baseless suit for over $2,000 against his AVLF client! Through the leadership of Sumeet Shah, Atlanta alumni chapter president, and Clark, the chapter has now sponsored three successful Saturday events and is looking forward to their next Saturday Lawyer program event with AVLF on August 25, 2012.
The Tallahassee alumni chapter competed in a Chili Cook-off on January 25, hosted by the Tallahassee Bar Association and The Legal Aid Foundation. The Tallahassee alumni chapter was a sponsor at the event. The panel of judges tasting the chili included Jorge Labarga, Florida Supreme Court justice, as well as other states’ Supreme Court justices.
Washington, D.C. Chapter:
Alumni in Washington, D.C. gathered to welcome Coastal Law faculty into town at PS7’s on October 13. More than 30 alumni attended to meet and greet faculty members, including Lynn McDowell, Marc McAllister and Cleveland Ferguson.
The Washington, D.C. chapter also hosted a holiday party on December 16 at Uno’s Chicago Grill for alumni and students home for winter break. Each attendee donated a toy to donate to Toys for Tots.
Chapter Leaders Workshop:
Chapter leaders from New York, Washington, D.C., South Carolina, Atlanta, Tampa, Pensacola and Tallahassee traveled back to Jacksonville on October 20 for the Chapter Leaders Summit. While the group was on campus they hosted an Open House in the atrium for students interested in practicing in those areas and met with student leaders during a reception.
Alumni from all classes returned to the Coastal Law campus on October 21 for Alumni Day 2011. As part of the festivities, attendees had opportunities to visit with faculty members, tour the recently renovated campus, and earn CLE credit, at sessions including “How To Build A Million Dollar Solo or Small Law Firm In 36 Months Or Less,” led by RJon Robins, Esq. That evening alumni gathered at Epping Forest Yacht Club for cocktails and dinner to celebrate the honored classes of 2001 and 2006.
Annual Meeting of the Florida Bar Reception:
Students competing in the Orseck Moot Court competition also attended. Thank you to our alumni sponsors: Platinum Sponsors: Michael Fox Orr ’05 and Leland M. Taylor ’05. Silver Sponsor: Preston H. Oughton ’08. Bronze Sponsors: Rebecca Black ’06, Millie Kanyar ’99, Dave Lazzaroni ’05 and Heather Reynolds ’02.
Chapter Summer Send-Offs
• July 11: Pensacola Chapter Social at the Atlas Bar.
• July 26: Atlanta Chapter Social at Gardner Groff Greenwald & Villanueva, PC.
• July 26: NYC Chapter Social at INC Lounge in New York City.
• July 28: Washington, D.C. Chapter Social at 14K Restaurant and Lounge.
• August 1: Tampa Chapter Social at Brio at International Plaza.
• August 4: Charleston Chapter Social at Cork.
• August 8: Jacksonville Chapter Social at Aloft in Tapestry Park.