The Florida Bar


January 13, 2016
Mark Hohmeister,,
The Florida Bar
(850) 561-5764

TALLAHASSEE - The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association is the recipient of the 2016 Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Award. The award, which recognizes a Florida voluntary bar that has demonstrated a significant contribution in the delivery of legal services to individuals or groups on a pro bono basis, will be presented by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga at a Jan. 28 ceremony at the Supreme Court of Florida.

The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association covers six counties – Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Gilchrist, Levy and Union counties. The association has only about 350 members, but for a small, rural bar, it does amazing things.

The EJCBA actively supports Three Rivers Legal Services, and with more than 100,000 potential eligible clients in the circuit, the efforts of individual attorneys and small practices are crucial to the delivery of legal services. EJCBA also offers support for Southern Legal Counsel, which is committed to the ideal of equal justice and basic human and civil rights.

The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association has taken on several significant projects, two addressing the issue of homelessness.

Pitch in for the Kitchen helped raise more than $20,000 to rebuild the kitchen at Grace Marketplace, which offers services and shelter to people who are homeless in the Gainesville area. As part of the fundraiser, EJCBA officers took turns in a dunking booth.

EJCBA created the Ask-A-Lawyer program in January 2015, soon after the opening of Grace Marketplace. Attorneys volunteer their time to help people with a range of issues that can be a barrier to housing.

The Eighth Judicial Circuit Bar Association also has a Law in the Library program, with 15 to 40 people attending seminars on various legal topics. Almost 30 lawyers have taken part during the program’s four years of existence.

A holiday project, Gifts for Head Start Children, provides a party (with Santa) and gifts to children. In 2014, EJCBA provided gifts for more than 300 children.

This year's awards ceremony, which also honors individual, circuit, law firm, young lawyer, state judicial, and federal judicial pro bono efforts, is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28, at 3:30 p.m. at the Supreme Court of Florida. The ceremony will be streamed live at

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EDITORS: Please note The Florida Bar is not an association and "Association" is not part of our name. Proper reference is "The Florida Bar." Local bar organizations are properly termed "associations."

[Revised: 01-14-2016]