Access to Justice Month Kickoff

October 6th at 6 pm

October is Access to Justice Month in Arkansas and we can’t wait to celebrate with you!

With your support, we will draw attention to the justice gap in Arkansas and fulfill the promise of justice for all Arkansans. Arkansans are facing unprecedented hardships during the pandemic, as domestic violence and evictions spike. This year, more than ever, pro bono is critical to addressing the justice gap! On this special night, we’ll celebrate pro bono heroes in our community, addressing the legal needs of low-income Arkansans. You’ll also learn how you can get involved and become one of these pro bono heroes!

Be sure to stick around after the awards ceremony for music by Bonnie Montgomery!

This year’s virtual event is free to attend, but your generous sponsorship benefits the Arkansas Justice Fund, providing long-term support for Arkansas’s legal aid providers.

Where? We’ll stream the event on this page.  Want a reminder about the event? Let us know here.

When? October 6th at 6 pm.

2020 Honorees

Tabitha Lee

Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award-Small/Solo Firm

Tabitha has spent countless hours preparing petitions to seal criminal records and organizing expungement clinics. Through her work, she has helped low-income Arkansans with a record get a fresh start at life by improving their housing and employment prospects. This work ultimately benefits all Arkansans by lowering recidivism and allowing those re-entering society to become productive members of the community.

Sol Kim

Taylor Law Partners

Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award-Medium Firm

Sol has, for years, been a consistent pro bono volunteer. He shows up to help at clinics and provides pro bono and low bono services to clients. Sol’s service is particularly important because he provides assistance to immigrants. This group of clients is often ineligible for traditional legal aid services, making private-attorney led pro bono particularly necessary in this field.

Brian Rosenthal

Rose Law Firm

Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award-Large Firm

Brian is being recognized for his efforts to elevate the cause of pro bono during his tenure as President of the Arkansas Bar Association. Under his leadership, the Arkansas Bar Association developed a proposal to permit retired and voluntary inactive attorneys to provide pro bono service. That proposal was ultimately adopted by the Arkansas Supreme Court and helps to address a shortage of pro bono attorneys in Arkansas. During his tenure, the Bar also developed a proposal to encourage pro bono service in the wake of natural disasters.

Judge Thomas Fowler

Craighead County District Court

Judicial Leadership Award

Judge Fowler is being honored for his work to make the courtroom more accessible for those unable to afford a lawyer. During his time on the bench, he has created a presentation that explains court procedures for the public and implemented an amnesty court program. He also created a “sign up docket” that allows those who are behind on court obligations, such as fine payments or public service, to appear in his court to discuss their situation without fear of a warrant being served.

Our House

Nonprofit Partner Award

Our House works in many areas to combat homelessness. Of particular note, though, is their re-entry work. Our House helps clients to overcome the challenges of finding jobs and housing with a criminal record. They have worked both independently and in partnership with the Center for Arkansas Legal Services to offer record sealing clinics to their clients and others in the community.

Southern Bancorp

IOLTA Preferred Bank Award

Southern Bancorp is one of the longest-standing members of the IOLTA Preferred Banks Program. However, their commitment to equal access to justice goes far beyond this. For years, they have sponsored tax preparation clinics for low-income residents of the Arkansas Delta. To help families build intergenerational wealth, they worked with volunteer lawyers from the Friday Firm and other organizations to offer estate planning services at these clinics. Southern Bancorp also works to actively address economic racism by investing in the Arkansas and Mississippi Delta Region.

Thank you to our sponsors!