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April 1, 2013
SLC creates Wm. Reece Smith pro bono program

Southern Legal Counsel, a statewide not-for-profit public interest law firm, has established a pro bono program in honor of late board member Wm. Reece Smith, Jr.

Smith, a prominent lawyer in Hillsborough County, died in January and was a Southern Legal Counsel board member for 10 years, serving as board chair for three years. He actively worked to deliver free legal aid to the poor on local and state levels. Smith received many awards for his civil and public services, and established systems to involve lawyers in pro bono legal opportunities. Smith helped advance Southern Legal Counsel’s mission of seeking systemic solutions on behalf of those who otherwise would not have access to the courts.

“Under his leadership, we positively reformed several institutions for people with disabilities who were being mistreated and desperately needed services,” Executive Director Jodi Siegel said. “His influence was felt by thousands of Floridians.”

Southern Legal Counsel is developing a team of lawyers dedicated to assisting individuals and groups with public interest issues. The Southern Legal Counsel’s Wm. Reece Smith, Jr., Pro Bono Impact Team will co-counsel on statewide, systemic lawsuits. The attorneys involved in this program will be part of Southern Legal Counsel’s litigation team.

“I think Reece would be honored to have inspired a pro bono project that teams together high-quality lawyers whose goal is to achieve systemic solutions to the problems of the poor,” William Kalish, current SLC chair, said.

For more information, contact Executive Director Jodi Siegel at (352) 271-8890 or jodi.siegel@southernlegal.org or William Kalish at (813) 223-7333.

[Revised: 12-12-2014]