Attorneys, judges, staff and friends from throughout the Mid-Shore recently joined Mid-Shore Pro Bono (MSPB) at The Milestone in Easton to celebrate ten years of service and recognize the individuals who have made its success possible.
Keynote speaker for the event was the Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals. Judge Barbera commended Mid-Shore Pro Bono for its service to the community, citing the significant record of pro bono hours donated by Mid-Shore attorneys to its low-income residents. “You represent the very best of legal practice and legal service in Maryland,” she said.
The Honorable Mary Ellen Barbera, right, Chief Judge of the Maryland Court of Appeals, was the keynote speaker at a reception honoring Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s 2015 award winners, left to right, the Honorable Karen Murphy Jensen; Childlene Brooks, representing Talbot Senior Center; Marianne Dise, Esq.; and Andie Ross, Esq.
With her own personal emphasis on juvenile justice and elder law issues, Judge Barbera applauded MSPB’s Community Conferencing program, Elder Law clinics and its new Children’s Advocacy Assistance Project. She said that programs like these have Maryland emerging as a national leader in providing access to justice for the most vulnerable and underserved segments of the community.
Additional speakers included Lucie Hughes, vice president of Chesapeake College, and MSPB Board Member Bridget Lowrie, Esq. Lowrie is the new director of the paralegal program at Chesapeake College. She announced a new partnership with Mid-Shore Pro Bono to hold legal clinics on campus. The clinics will be staffed by student paralegals with attorney oversight, providing students with the benefits of hands-on learning and real-life interaction with the public.
The reception was sponsored by Parker, Counts, Melton & Goodman, P.C. Christine DuFour, Esq., MSPB board vice president, acted as the evening’s emcee, introducing speakers and recognizing staff and board members for their contributions. Also on hand were Maryland Senator Addie Eckardt, and Delegates Chris Adams and Johnny Mautz, with Denise Lovelady representing Congressman Andy Harris, to present legislative citations to the awardees.
Board President William C. Hollis, Esq., and Connie Kratovil-Lavelle, Esq., presented silver trays to the four award recipients.
Marianne Dise, Esq., received the Retired Pro Bono Volunteer Award for providing over 80 hours of service to the organization in the past two years, helping more than 135 individuals in its civil legal clinics. Andie Ross, Esq., received the Distinguished Pro Bono Volunteer Award, recognizing her service as the primary attorney for MSPB’s Debtor Assistance Project.
The Non-Legal or Organizational Involvement Award was presented to Talbot Senior Center, represented by Childlene Brooks, a Mid-Shore Pro Bono board member. The Center has served as the site of MSPB’s Senior Law Day since 2012 and this year began hosting its Elder Law Clinics. It also has hosted MSPB board meetings and training for volunteer attorneys.
Hollis presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to the Honorable Karen Murphy Jensen for her role in establishing Mid-Shore Pro Bono ten years ago and for consistently championing its mission both on the Eastern Shore and across the bridge. “It is through her vision and continued encouragement that Mid-Shore Pro Bono continues to grow,” he added.
In accepting her award, Judge Jensen noted that Mid-Shore Pro Bono’s success has stemmed from learning to be responsive to the needs of the community, being innovative in doing more with less, and being good at forming partnerships within the community. She commended Executive Director Sandy Brown and the staff for their excellence and dedication.
For more information, call Mid-Shore Pro Bono at 410-690-8128 or visit www.midshoreprobono.org.