Grants Awarded - 2017

The Chapter Community Outreach Grant Selection Committee approved the following grants for 2017:

South Carolina - BRIDGE Mentorship Program
The South Carolina Chapter of the Federal Bar Association created the Mentorship Program to support the relatively new federal drug court in Charleston, SC known as the BRIDGE Program. The BRIDGE Program seeks to provide a rehabilitative program for individuals whose illegal substance dependency has led to federal criminal charges. In 2015, the BRIDGE Program expanded to Columbia, Florence, and Greenville. FBA members and the federal judiciary will benefit from the grant as resources and personal involvement are critical to sustain the continued growth of this program which facilitates the administration of justice while addressing the need for legal services.

Eastern District of Michigan - Pro Se Legal Assistance Clinic
Working in partnership with the United States District Court, Eastern District of Michigan, the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law will create a part-time legal assistance clinic to provide legal services to indigent and low-income non-prisoner pro se litigants in the Eastern District of Michigan. The chapter is coordinating pro bona legal services and will host an annual reception to thank pro bona attorneys.

Central District of Illinois - Naturalization Ceremony
Courts across the country will be celebrating Constitution and Citizenship Day on September 18, 2017. On September 20, 2017, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois will be holding a large naturalization ceremony at the Peoria Civic Center. As part of a joint national initiative between the Administrative Office of the United States Courts and the Federal Bar Association which promotes the signing of the Constitution, 900 8th grade students have been invited to participate. Students will be given instructions regarding the ceremony and its significance prior to attending. On the day of the ceremony, judges and local FBA members will make short civics presenations regarding the Constitution.

Utah Chapter - Civics Camp
Members of the Utah Chapter are coordinating a joint effort with their local district court, a local law school, and the Administrative Office to establish the first ever summer civics camp for high school youth. The project is committed to helping students from disadvantaged circumstances attend.

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Chapter - Half Day Court Camp
The program brings up to 100 students from 2-5 area high schools to the federal courthouse for a half-day "camp" that will include tours of facilities and the opportunity to meet with judges and representatives of the agencies housed in the courthouse. Both judges and schools in our area have expressed interest in courthouse field trips for students. The local chapter has made a major effort to form a Civics Liaison Committee (of private practitioners, government attorneys and local law students) to participate in National Community Outreach in April 2017 in this way, and to otherwise facilitate linkage between the courts and local schools.

Eastern District of Michigan Chapter - Law Day
The 2017 Law Day Event, hosted by the District Court, EDMI, Federal Bar Association, and the Wolverine Bar Association will focus on the role of federal courts and agencies protecting civil rights and civil liberties following up on last year's 50th anniversary of Miranda v Arizona. The grant assisted with transportation that resulted in a significant increase in participation by high school students whose teachers did not otherwise have funding for transportation. We were able to host students from four high schools, with one school sending two busloads of students. The students participated in panel discussions lead by expert practitioners, judges, and law enforcement personnel providing insight on the impact of the Miranda decision.  

Eastern District of North Carolina Chapter - Federal Court Field Trip:  A Real Life Civics Lesson at the EDNC
A federal court field trip for middle and high school students who are taking a civics class and/or who are otherwise interested in the law. This project will give young students an opportunity to experience the federal court system in a positive way and encourage some to pursue the practice of law. The grant provided transportation for the students to the courthouse, lunch for the students and volunteers, and a small token to remind them of the lessons learned in court. Local chapter members were encouraged to volunteer to accompany the students while in court, and to speak about their own path into the law.

Nevada Chapter - National High School Mock Trial Competition
The Nevada Chapter, in partnership with the State Bar of Nevada and the Nevada Bar Foundation is supporting the 2018 National School Mock Trial Competition in Reno, Nevada, May 17-19.

Orlando Chapter - Schoolhouse to Courthouse

Hawai'i Chapter - Civil Pro Bono Panel
The program provides legal services in civil cases to the poor and increases access to justice. Hawai'i has the sixth-highest poverty rate in the nation. A new court order allows attorneys to provide unbundled legal services when representing pro se litigants in the program. The Hawai'i FBA is soliciting lawyers to represent pro se litigants and creating a panel of volunteer experienced mentors, including on neighbor islands. 

Hon. Raymond L. Acosta Puerto Rico Chapter - Veterans Outreach CLE
The chapter and the Veterans and Military Law Section will hold a full day CLE on veteran issues to train lawyers and non-lawyers who assist veterans. Puerto Rico has a large veteran population with diverse needs. The Veterans and Military Law Section will bring experts from the mainland to assist the Puerto Rico Chapter and Puerto Rico Lawyers who help the veterans' community.


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