Attorney and Pine Bluff native William McShane “Shane” Bridgforth has been selected the 2011 Jefferson County VOCALS Pro Bono Attorney of the Year, according to VOCALS Pro Bono Coordinator Donna Ramsey. The Volunteer Organization for the Center for Arkansas Legal Services awards the honor each year to an attorney who demonstrates outstanding commitment to providing pro bono service to low-income residents of the Jefferson County. “Shane is always ready to step in and assist our clients in settling their legal matters,” said Ramsey. “He is a great asset to our VOCALS panel.”
Bridgforth, who is a partner at Ramsay, Bridgforth, Robinson & Raley, has handled a total of 41 VOCALS cases over the course of his legal career. His clients—none of whom had the financial resources to hire a private attorney—have included domestic violence victims and non-parental caregivers of young children.
“I have always believed in equal justice for all people and that people in our community should have access to the assistance of an attorney in important legal matters regardless of their economic status,” said Bridgforth. “It is a great honor to have been selected the 2011 VOCALS Attorney of the Year for Jefferson County.”
“The volunteer work that Mr. Bridgforth has consistently contributed provides critical legal assistance to low-income residents of Jefferson County,” said Jean Carter, Executive Director of the Center for Arkansas Legal Services. “Pro bono service is now more important than ever in Arkansas due to both the current economic crisis and recent federal and state budget cuts.”
Bridgforth is a 1990 graduate of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Law, where he was a member of Phi Delta Phi and served on the moot court team. He is a member of the Jefferson County, Arkansas Bar, and American Bar Associations, and currently serves on the Arkansas Supreme Court on Model Jury Instructions—Civil. He is Vice President of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation.
Mr. Bridgforth has previously served on the Arkansas Bar Association’s House of Delegates and Executive Council, as well as the board of directors for the Center for Arkansas Legal Services. He has served on other community organization boards and committees, including the Arts & Science Center for Southeast Arkansas, the Pine Bluff Child Center, the Economic Development Alliance of Jefferson County, and the Greater Pine Bluff Chamber of Commerce.