first_img Linking lawyers with service organizations ‘For the Children’ Web page When Bar President Miles McGrane asked Florida’s lawyers to “please rise to the challenge” in his mission to help children, he has some very specific ideas in mind to link attorneys to where they are needed most.That new vehicle is the “For the Children” Web page on The Florida Bar Web site at www.flabar.org.“Everyone knows Florida lawyers have no rivals in pro bono participation. Yet I am asking our members to re-double their efforts,” McGrane said.“As I traveled the state urging this increased effort, I heard from some of our members that they didn’t know how to get started or that they didn’t know who needed their services.“Yet we know there are many not-for-profit organizations serving children that need legal assistance.”Through the Web page, McGrane said, nonprofit organizations needing legal services will be able to register their needs, and lawyers will be able to register their willingness to serve. Florida Legal Services and the Florida Pro Bono Coordinators Association will match the volunteer lawyers to the nonprofit groups.“Through this vehicle, we will be able to match organizations that serve children with members of the Bar who are willing to provide either free legal service or possibly serve on the board itself,” McGrane said. “I am happy to say the For the Children Web page is now up and running.“I hope all of you, no matter what type of legal work you do, will join in this effort. From past experience, I know you will.”In addition, McGrane has pledged to work on implementing recommendations of the Bar’s Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, created by former Bar President Edith Osman and chaired for three years by 11th Circuit Judge Sandy Karlan. The final report was completed in June 2002 and is available on the Bar’s Web site.McGrane said he and Bar President-elect Kelly Overstreet Johnson met with the Bar’s committee leadership and asked the chair of each rules committee to “ensure its rules of procedure are consistent with the commission’s recommendations and that they ensure children involved in all court proceedings have the right to appear in court and be heard.”Additionally, McGrane and Johnson brought their message to a meeting of the Counsel of Sections.They urged the substantive law sections of the Bar to lend their political influence in support of all those portions of the commission’s report that have not yet become Florida law.As was suggested by the Commission on the Legal Needs of Children, sections will develop continuing legal education programs, McGrane said.Under the leadership of former Bar President Terry Russell, a committee has been formed to study the implementation of the commission’s many recommendations. Former ABA President Martha Barnett, Board of Governor member Sharon Langer, and Richard Milstein, chair of the Council of Sections, have agreed to serve on the oversight committee to make sure reviews proceed on schedule. ‘For the Children’ Web pagecenter_img July 15, 2003 Regular Newslast_img