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Ward wins YLD pro Bono Service Award

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Laura E. Ward

Laura E. Ward, an attorney at DLA Piper LLP in Tampa, is the recipient of the 2014 Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Pro Bono Service Award.

Ward concentrates her practice on complex commercial and civil litigation in state and federal courts throughout Florida. Ward has significant experience representing individuals, as well as local and international corporations in areas including contract, construction, franchise, products liability, and labor and employment. Before joining the firm, Ward clerked for Judge Charles R. Wilson of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit. She was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2004.

In 2013, Ward logged approximately 260 pro bono hours. In 2011 and 2012, she was the DLA Piper Tampa pro bono award winner and a nominee for the company’s national award. Ward has been recognized by the firm for outstanding commitment to pro bono service for her work bringing claims in district court pursuant to the Hague Convention on International Child Abduction seeking the return of children wrongfully removed from their home countries.

Ward is on DLA Piper’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, and she serves as director of a pro bono legal services clinic started by the law firm at the James A. Haley Veterans’ Hospital in Tampa. The veterans are helped with a variety of problems from driver’s license revocation issues to family law and trust and estate issues. In preparing to open the clinic, Ward drafted the memorandum of understanding with the Veterans Administration, helped identify the physical space, organized a training course, and produced training reference materials for all attorney volunteers. She staffs and volunteers at bimonthly clinics and oversees the client appointment process and follow-up. Forty to 50 veterans, many of whom are indigent or low-income, are seen at each clinic. Ward is working to coordinate with local law schools and other law firms to expand the reach of the clinic to serve more veterans.

Ward received the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Outstanding Young Lawyer Award in 2013. Her other memberships include: Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers, Bay Area Legal Services-The Pearl Society, Davidson College Alumni Association-Tampa Chapter president (2005-present), and The Junior League of Tampa.

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