College Columns May 2019 - Page 7

Last November, as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee, I had the privilege to send the Foundation’s grant checks. The Foundation funded grants totaling $448,000 to 48 organizations in 27 different states (including the District of Columbia.) I

soon learned that the real pleasure was the numerous thank you letters and press releases I received from our grantees. Our grantees truly appreciate the support of the College and Foundation to enable them to continue their work.

But, the Committee is only able to do its work because of the generosity of the Fellows by their donations to the Foundation. (And the support of the College, which provides the Foundation with additional funding for grants.) So, let me share with you a few thank you notes from our grantees, in appreciation of the difference you make through your support:

From Conejo Free Clinic, Thousand Oaks, California:

“On behalf of the Conejo Free Clinic Legal Clinic, our Board of Directors and our Legal Team, we thank you for your letter of November 9 regarding our first grant from the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation. We are truly thrilled to be selected. To receive your $10,000 grant honors our program and the extraordinary bankruptcy lawyers who give their personal and professional time here, some for over ten years, to help low income people without legal care access.”

(The grant to Conejo will support the volunteer bankruptcy clinics run by Conejo and their efforts to recruit new volunteers. At the bankruptcy clinics, pro bono volunteer attorneys meet with clients and assist pro se filers navigating bankruptcy and individuals facing debt.)

From the Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, New Orleans, Louisiana:

“Your investment in justice at SLLS will make a real difference. A recent study on the economic impact of civil legal aid was completed by the Louisiana Bar Foundation. It found that for every dollar invested in civil legal aid, there was an $8.73 social return on investment. The leverage from pro bono lawyers in projects like the one just funded by the Foundation brings in additional leverage to our community.”

(The 2018 grant will underwrite a new initiative by SLLS to coordinate with a prosperity program operated by United Way and the City of New Orleans. The prosperity center program connects low income individuals with employment and financial capability programs. The existing program did not address consumer debt, which is often a barrier to economic opportunities. The grant by the Foundation will enable SLLS to provide consumer law clinics and community legal education in coordination with the prosperity program.)

From the Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois:

“We are honored to be selected as a grantee organization this year, and are deeply appreciative of the generous award of $7,500. This grant will help Catholic Charities Legal Assistance Department (CCLA) to provide legal education seminars on bankruptcy law and debtor's rights. In the coming year, CCLA will present at least 12 seminars on Chapters 7 and 13 bankruptcy protection to disadvantaged communities in Chicago, as well as provide individual consultations and legal services for the seminar participants. CCLA will also offer four seminars to volunteer attorneys seeking to provide pro bono assistance in the bankruptcy/debtor’s rights areas, two of which will focus on credit report analysis. We are privileged to have the American College of Bankruptcy and the

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From the Pro Bono Committee

Janet E. Bostwick, Janet E. Bostwick, PC

Chair, Pro Bono Committee

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