Community Legal Resources rebrands for a statewide presence

After 12 years of being known as Community Legal Resources, the Detroit-based pro bono legal and technical assistance group is changing its name to Michigan Community Resources.

The group, which serves low-income people and nonprofit organizations, said that recent growth and a diversification of services prompted the name change to something that more accurately reflects its capabilities and increased range.

Over its course of existence, the group has grown from four to 17 employees, relocated its Detroit office, and added a Lansing branch.

The Huffington Post Detroit recently honored Michigan Community Resources with the “HuffPost Detroit Impact Award,” and was one of only 11 groups chosen for 2011.

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Pro Bono Fair 2011 coming soon to a place near you

A partnership of law firms, local bar associations, legal aid clinics and the Thomas M. Cooley School is presenting Pro Bono Fair 2011 at four locations across the state in October.

The events are designed to connect attorneys and legal services organizations in their community and to explore volunteer opportunities.

The inaugural event is the Oakland and Macomb Pro Bono Fair on Thursday, Oct. 6 at the Thomas M. Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills Campus, 2630 Featherstone, Auburn Hills from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Dickinson Wright is sponsoring the event.

The keynote speaker will be Julie I. Fershtman, President, State Bar of Michigan.

Fershtman, along with Peter M. Alter, Oakland County Bar Association President; Gail Pamukov-Miller, Macomb County Bar Association President; Stephanie D. Jones, Straker Bar Association President and David S. Maquera, Hispanic Bar Association President say:

The Oakland and Macomb Pro Bono Fair is a practical and expedient way for you to learn more about legal services organizations and the programs that help the thousands who are in urgent need of civil legal aid. The need has grown, as funding for legal services has been dwindling.

Michigan’s legal community has been generous with its time and financial support, but more help is needed. All Oakland and Macomb area attorneys are urged to attend the pro bono fair. You are under no obligation to take a case or to make a time commitment. The fair is meant to be a chance to learn more, network with colleagues, and consider new ways to provide pro bono service.

Other Pro Bono Fairs are scheduled for later in the month. Here’s a list:

  • October 11, 2011
    Grand Rapids Pro Bono Fair
    11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
    Thomas M. Cooley Law School
    Grand Rapids Campus
  • October 11, 2011
    Detroit Pro Bono Fair
    4:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.
    Dykema
  • October 17, 2011
    Lansing Pro Bono Fair
    4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
    Thomas M. Cooley Law School
    Lansing Campus

For more information, and to RSVP (requested but not required), please contact Robert Mathis, SBM Pro Bono Service Counsel, at
rmathis@mail.michbar.org or call (517) 346-6412.

Pro bono fairs set for next month

We’re less than two weeks away from Pro Bono Month, and the State Bar of Michigan’s Pro Bono Initiative is giving attorneys plenty of opportunity to find what suits them best.

The group will launch its first ever Michigan Pro Bono Fairs, and will host them at the following locations and dates:

Oct. 6: Oakland & Macomb Pro Bono Fair; The Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Auburn Hills; 4:30-6:30 p.m.; Info: Dionnie Wynter, (248) 751-7800, Ext. 7742.

Oct. 11: Detroit Pro Bono Fair; Dykema Gossett PLLC, Detroit; 4-6:40 p.m.; Info: Heidi Naasko, (734) 214-7710.

Oct. 11: Grand Rapids Pro Bono Fair; The Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Grand Rapids; 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.; Info: Karen Rowlader, (616) 301-6800, Ext. 6708.

Oct. 17: Lansing Pro Bono Fair; The Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing; 4-6:30 p.m.; Info: Dionnie Wynter, (248) 751-7800, Ext. 7742.

Attorneys attending the pro bono fairs are under no obligation to take a case or to make a time commitment. The fairs are meant to be a chance to learn more, network with colleagues, and to consider new ways to provide pro bono services.

To learn more, contact Robert Mathis, SBM pro bono service counsel, at (517) 346-6412 or rmathis@mail.michbar.org.

Eastern District Bankruptcy Court seeks pro bono volunteers

If you’re a member of the bankruptcy bar, Eastern District Bankruptcy Court Chief Judge Steven Rhodes is looking for your help.

Specifically, 150 or more of you.

Judge Rhodes is seeking volunteers to help with the court’s pro bono program.

“The Court’s pro bono program provides free legal services to indigent debtors involved in adversary proceedings related to the discharge and non-dischargeability of certain debts. The program also provides service to an indigent former-spouse of a debtor regarding the dischargeability of obligations in the judgment of divorce. The program does not provide legal services related to bankruptcy cases.”

Judge Rhodes says if a couple hundred attorneys get on board, each could expect to get an appointment under the program every three or four years.

Click here for more information and an application.