Student Bar Association donates $31,000 to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid

On Thursday, May 18, the Student Bar Association (SBA) donated approximately $31,000 to the Baker Defense Project at Jacksonville Area Legal Aid (JALA). Proceeds were raised through efforts, including Coastal Law’s Barrister’s Ball and Charity Golf Tournament.

“We would like to take this opportunity to thank the Student Bar Association for their generous donation which will ensure that the men and women detained at Baker will continue to receive high-quality representation,” said JALA advocate Karen Winston, former Equal Justice Works Fellow and creator of the Baker Defense Project. “The students volunteered countless hours to ensure the events were a success and the Project would continue.”

The Baker Defense Project provides free and full representation to foreign nationals detained at the Baker County Jail. If they have a legal right to remain in the United States, that right is pursued on behalf of the detainee by Winston through the Baker Defense Project. Winston also advocates for improved living conditions, access to medical care, and access to counsel on behalf of all immigrants detained at Baker, one of the five immigration detention facilities in Florida.

“We enjoyed an unprecedented Law Week and Barrister's Ball,” said Stefano Portigliatti, Coastal Law’s SBA president. “Our committee members worked tirelessly to make all of it possible and I’m personally honored and proud that our students were able to come together to support such a noble cause.”