The Federal Bar Association is pleased to announce that it is implementing the SOLACE program on a national scale with the help of its local FBA Chapters. SOLACE stands for "Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel—All Concern Encouraged.” SOLACE provides a way for the FBA legal community to reach out in small, but meaningful and compassionate ways, to FBA members and those related to them in the legal community who experience a death, or some catastrophic event, illness, sickness, injury, or other personal crisis. Judge Jay Zainey and Mark Surprenant, in connection with the Louisiana State Bar Association, originally developed the SOLACE program, and in 2016 FBA President Judge Michael Newman made the SOLACE program one of his national priorities for the FBA.

The SOLACE program has helped numerous individuals by handling a wide variety of requests. Examples of past requests and responsive help include securing a medical evacuation airlift from a foreign country, donating furniture to a solo practitioner whose office was consumed by a fire, contributing frequent flyer miles or hotel points for families who cannot afford the travel costs associated with medical treatment, volunteering to care for the dog of an individual who was away from home while receiving cancer treatment, providing a family with meals, lodging, assistance with grocery shopping or child care, or providing non-legal information—whatever the situation may warrant. SOLACE does not, however, handle requests for money. For more information on the initiative’s good work, please follow the links here and here.

The FBA’s SOLACE initiative is open to all FBA members and those related to them within the legal community— judges, lawyers, court personnel, paralegals, legal secretaries and their families—not just lawyers. If you would like to submit a SOLACE request for help, please click here and submit the request electronically, or feel free to contact an FBA Chapter SOLACE Liaison directly in your area to submit a SOLACE request. A list of participating FBA Chapters and their SOLACE Liaisons may be found here. No request is too big or too small.

How can you help? If you are an FBA member, you automatically will receive SOLACE information via email if a request for assistance is received that could be addressed by FBA members in your area. The SOLACE email notification will describe the need and how you can help. If you choose not to participate in SOLACE, you can unsubscribe from the SOLACE email service at any time by simply clicking on the “Unsubscribe” button.

Please note that all SOLACE requests are handled as discreetly as possible. In normal circumstances, the only parties who will know the identity of a person requesting help are the SOLACE coordinators and the individuals offering help. Likewise, if you are offering to help meet a request, the only parties who will know your identity are the SOLACE coordinators and the individual seeking help.

The FBA SOLACE initiative is directed at the national level by the FBA National SOLACE Committee. For a list of the current Committee members click here. If you have further questions about FBA SOLACE, please contact a SOLACE Committee Member.


Sample Letter from Chapter President or SOLACE Liaison to Chapter Members


SOLACE Overview

SOLACE Request Handling

SOLACE Response Report Handling

SOLACE Submission Form


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