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Equal Justice Wyoming Celebrates Pro Bono & Service Leadership

Posted by arosales on September 22, 2016

The Wyoming State Bar recognized various individuals and groups last week at its Annual State Bar Meeting with service, leadership, and pro bono awards. Equal Justice Wyoming's leadership was recognized and played a part in nominating and recognizing award winners.

Angie Dorsch, Executive Director of Equal Justice Wyoming, was recognized with the Champion of Justice for Legal Services Award for her contributions to increasing access to justice.  Dorsch joined Equal Justice Wyoming in 2012 as its first Executive Director, and has worked with lawyers, judges, legislators,and the general public to increase access to civil legal services.She was presented the award by Casper attorney Stuart Day, who has served on the Board of Commissioners for Equal Justice Wyoming since its inception. The nomination for the award was submitted by Dona Playton of the University of Wyoming.

University of Wyoming College of Law third-year law student Albert Walsh was recognized with the Outstanding Pro Bono Student Award for his contributions assisting fellow student veterans. He has assisted with the pro bono work of retired Laramie attorney John Hursh and also volunteers tirelessly with the Veteran’s Service Center on campus. Walsh was nominated by Alisa M. Rosales, Staff Attorney at Equal Justice Wyoming, who also presented the award.

The Wyoming State Bar also recognized the Cheyenne law firm of Woodhouse Roden Nethercott is one of the recipients of the 2016 Pro Bono Awards for Legal Services for Indigent Clients. The firm has regularly sponsored and participated in monthly Equal Justice Wyoming/Wyoming State Bar sponsored law clinics and the firm’s attorneys are frequent volunteers for clinic nights in Laramie County.  The volunteer attorneys have taken on cases of clients they meet through the clinics and also have established pro bono work as a significant part of the firm’s culture.  The attorneys routinely accept pro bono cases from Equal Justice Wyoming.  Dorsch nominated the firm and Liz Hutchinson, Staff Attorney at Equal Justice Wyoming, presented the award. Gay Woodhouse and Tara Nethercott accepted the award on behalf of the firm. 

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Dona Playton & Angie Dorsh               Alisa M. Rosales & Albert Walsh        Tara Nethercott, Gay Woodhouse & Liz Hutchinson

 


Governor Mead Proclaims October 25-31 Pro Bono Week

Posted by arosales on October 19, 2015

The Wyoming State Bar and Equal Justice Wyoming announced that the week of October 25 – 31, 2015, has been designated as Pro Bono Week by issue of a proclamation from Governor Matt Mead. The Governor signed the proclamation on Friday, October 16, 2015, at 9:45 a.m. in his office.

Pro Bono Week focuses on the work of attorneys and legal professionals who have taken on civil legal cases at no cost and have donated their time to help citizens who may not otherwise have access to legal assistance.  The week-long celebration works to educate the public on these pro bono efforts made by Wyoming lawyers and lawyers across the country.  Currently, there are more than 136 attorneys in Wyoming who are enrolled in pro bono programs statewide.       

There will be a number of pro bono events throughout Wyoming during Pro Bono Week 2015.  Among them are:

  • The University of Wyoming College of Law Students for Equal Justice student organization will be hosting a free legal advice clinic in Laramie in partnership with Equal Justice Wyoming on October 26, 2015.  Volunteer attorneys will be available to offer free civil legal advice from 5pm to 7pm. 
  • Equal Justice Wyoming will be offering a free legal fair at the First United Methodist Church in Cheyenne from 5pm to 7pm on October 27, 2015.  The legal fair will include classes on small claims court, landlord/tenant issues, debt collection and abusive practices, and the importance of creating a will. Volunteer attorneys will also be available for free civil legal advice, and other legal service providers will be in attendance to provide information and offer the public legal help. 
  • Free legal advice clinics will also be offered around the state sponsored by local bar associations and legal aid providers.  Advice clinics will be held in Casper, Gillette, Lander, Rawlins, and Rock Springs sponsored by Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc.  Advice clinics will also be held in Sheridan and Jackson sponsored by the Sheridan and Teton County Bar Associations.
  • For a full list and details of events around the state, visit the calendar of events at www.legalhelp.wy.gov.              

Wyoming State Bar President Devon O’Connell of Laramie, is among those attorneys who have dedicated time to pro bono work. “Pro bono service should be approached as a moral obligation to serve those who are in need of our help,” O’Connell said.

While legal aid programs in Wyoming have expanded over the years, the need for pro bono services is still great. In Wyoming, approximately 175,000 residents financially qualify for civil legal aid services.  An American Bar Association study estimates that approximately 80% of the legal needs of the poor remain unmet. There is a large gap in the ability of low-income individuals to access the services of an attorney.

Due to the significant efforts of Equal Justice Wyoming and the Access to Justice Commission, there has been much progress in expanding legal services and resources throughout Wyoming. In fact, the number of individuals receiving direct legal assistance from an attorney continues to substantially increase

To view the community calendar of legal aid events, visit http://www.legalhelpwy.org/index.php/self-help/calendar-of-classes/.

Any questions regarding Pro Bono Week should be directed to Chris Jorgenson, Staff Attorney/Pro Bono Coordinator for Equal Justice Wyoming, at (307) 777-8383 or Cathy Duncil, Pro Bono Coordinator for the Wyoming State Bar, at (307) 432-2105.


Stuart Day Receives Champion of Justice for Legal Services Award

Posted by arosales on September 16, 2015

The Wyoming State Bar is pleased to announce that Stuart Day, an attorney from Casper, has received one of two Champion of Justice for Legal Services Awards. Angie Dorsch, Executive Director of Equal Justice Wyoming, presented the award last week during the Bar’s Annual Meeting & Judicial Conference in Jackson, Wyoming.  The nomination for the award was also submitted by Dorsch.

Day has served on the volunteer Equal Justice Wyoming Board of Commissioners since it was created in 2011. In that capacity he has helped navigate the growth of statewide legal services and pro bono work in Wyoming. He has established pro bono work as a significant part of his firms’ culture and instilled this in his daughters, who also regularly undertake pro bono cases. Day routinely accepts pro bono cases from Equal Justice Wyoming. He has been a supporter and voice for access to justice in the state and also serves on the Wyoming Access to Justice Commission where he chairs one of the working groups. In addition, Day helped establish the Equal Justice Wyoming Foundation and currently serves as the Foundation’s inaugural President.

Day’s steadfast work to improve the justice system and promote access to justice has earned him the title “Champion of Justice.”

Day is a shareholder in Williams, Porter, Day & Neville, P.C. and has been involved in a broad spectrum of civil litigation. He has represented both insurance companies and insureds in litigation involving coverage and bad faith claims. Day has also appeared in litigation involving premises liability, automobile and truck accident claims and work-related injuries and deaths in industrial settings. He has also represented electric utilities in a variety of personal injury and administrative actions. Day has served as the President of the Natrona County Bar Association and Chairman of the Wyoming Bar Board of Continuing Legal Education and the Unauthorized Practice of Law Committee. He was also President of the Wyoming State Bar Foundation. Day is currently a member of the Equal Justice Wyoming Board of Directors and is President of the Equal Justice Wyoming Foundation.


Equal Justice Wyoming is pleased to announce that it has awarded $852,777 in grant awards to five non-profit civil legal service providers to serve the low income population of Wyoming. Twelve grant proposals were received, requesting more than $1.5 million.  The grants awarded are one-year grants.

Equal Justice Wyoming awarded grants to the Wyoming Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, Legal Aid of Wyoming, Inc., the University of Wyoming College of Law Clinical Programs, the Wyoming Children’s Law Center, and the Teton County Access to Justice Center.  Additional information on the grants can be accessed here.

During the 2014 grant year, nearly 3,500 people received direct legal assistance from an attorney through Equal Justice and Equal Justice funded programs.  “With the addition of more funds and additional grantees this year, we hope to serve even more people in the upcoming year,” said Angie Dorsch, Equal Justice Wyoming Executive Director.

The full press release can be found here.  

 


Healthcare.gov Open Enrollment

Posted by adorsch on October 27, 2014

Get ready to enroll!

The next open enrollment period for the health insurance exchange is

November 15, 2014 to February 15, 2015. Learn more at:

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If you would like assistance or more information about the enrollment programs in Wyoming, visit Enroll Wyoming's website or call 2-1-1 to speak with a specially trained, federally certified navigator.

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