The Children’s Law Center has named Polsinelli as its 2013 Law Firm of the Year in recognition of the exceptional pro bono service undertaken by Polsinelli attorneys over the past year. The firm was selected for its volunteer efforts in connection with the Minor Guardianship Program which assists vulnerable children whose parents are not able or willing to care for them.
“We are honored that the Children’s Law Center has selected Polsinelli as its Law Firm of the Year,” said Troy Froderman, chair of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee. “Our firm is deeply committed to providing legal support to those who would otherwise not be able to access it. As attorneys we have an obligation to give back to our communities in ways that ensure that all people are able to secure and preserve their rights under the law.”
The Children’s Law Center was established in 1998 by the Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) and co-sponsored by the Maricopa County Bar Association and Community Legal Services. Its goal is to address the unmet legal needs of children. Over 120 attorneys from firms throughout the Valley volunteer each year to fill gaps in legal assistance for children of diverse ethnic, racial and economic backgrounds. Current programs include Free Advice Clinics for Teens, the Court Advisor Project, the Minor Guardianship Project, the Guardianship Clinic, Teens at Work, the Adoption Project and Medical Legal Partnership.
“We are so grateful for the time and legal talent that Polsinelli’s attorneys have given so freely to the public through the Guardianship Program” said Roni Tropper, Esq., Children’s Law Center Program Coordinator. “They saw the tremendous need and offered to step in and take responsibility for all of the cases at one of our two guardianship clinic locations held monthly in English and quarterly in Spanish. They have been doing that now for three years.”
Tony Merrill, a shareholder at Polsinelli, spearheads the firm’s involvement in the Guardianship Program. “Volunteering to assist family members so that they can become legal guardians and thereby access health care for the children, enroll them in school or obtain other much needed services is very rewarding.” said Merrill.
Polsinelli is deeply committed to providing legal services to clients and causes that cannot afford them. During the last fiscal year, the firm gave close to 14,000 hours in legal and support resources on a pro bono basis. Polsinelli also employs full-time pro bono attorneys to provide representation in a variety of civil and criminal cases. Attorneys also accept court-appointed assignments on behalf of indigent clients in the areas of child abuse and neglect, family disputes, and some types of criminal law. The firm consistently assists with juvenile and child advocacy cases in the majority of its 18 offices.