Puneet Varma (Editor)

Lawyers to the Rescue

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Lawyers to the Rescue is a non-profit organization based in Florida, United States, committed to providing humanitarian and financial assistance to individuals and communities in times of crisis. The organization was started by Spencer M. Aronfeld and Dina Aronfeld as their response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Mr. Aronfeld says he was at a private airport watching air ambulance activities after the earthquake and wanted to respond in some way. He started the organization first as a fundraising effort for the people of Haiti and later evolved the organization's mission to providing legal assistance free of charge to people in need.

Activities

In addition to their efforts to raise money for the people in Haiti, Lawyers to the Rescue provided legal aid to Cambodian and Vietnamese fishermen and shrimpers living on their boats off New Orleans after the BP oil spill. BP had entered into contracts with these fisherman enlisting them to voluntarily assist with cleanup efforts, and Lawyers to the Rescue negotiated on their behalf. Their supporters have provided meals for the homeless at Camillus House, Miami, Florida and hosted pro-bono legal clinics at their facilities advising residents on immigration, criminal, human rights and family law. Lawyers to the Rescue members have participated with Habitat for Humanity to build homes in Miami, Florida.

"Sara Rose, Kid Lawyer" is an illustrated children's book by written Lawyers to the Rescue founder, Spencer Aronfeld, to inspire children to become lawyers. The proceeds of the book go to support Lawyers to the Rescue.

In 2012 Lawyers to the Rescue announced the First Annual Public Service Awards to honored distinguished lawyers for their commitment to public service. The awards will be presented at Lawyers to the Rescue's First Annual Public Service Awards reception. The honorees include former Miami-Dade County Public Defender Bennett Brummer for a "Lifetime Achievement Award", Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez-Rundle for "Lawyer of the Years" Circuit Court Judge Scott Bernstein "Judge of the Year", John Kozyak "Humanitarian of the Year", Jessica Laleh "Young Lawyer of the Year" and Domenick Lazzara "Law Student of the Year." The event was hosted at the University of Miami School of Law on February 28, 2012.

In November 2012 Lawyers to the Rescue hosted a fundraising event for victims of Hurricane Sandy at a local Miami restaurant. The proceeds were donated to the American Red Cross.

On March 14 of 2013 Lawyers to the Rescue held an event to celebrate its Second Annual Public Service Award Ceremony to honors lawyers, judges, law students and other members of the community who have demonstrated an enormous passion for public service.. The event was held at the Camillus House in Downtown Miami and was hosted by television personality Tara Gilani. The honorees include Eugenio Hernandez, Esquire "Lifetime Achievement Award", Matthew Dietz, Esquire as "Lawyer of the Year Award", Norman Braman for the "Humanitarian of the Year Award", Hon. Gill S. Freeman, a Miami-Dade County Circuit Court Judge as "Jurist of the Year Award", Luda Kogan, Esquire as the "Young Lawyer of the Year Award", Christian Sanchelima an FIU Law Student as the "Law Student of the Year Award", Dr. Siegfried Wiessner of St. Thomas University College of Law as "Law Professor of the Year Award", St. Thomas University's "Graduate Program in Intercultural Human Rights" for the "Law Institution of the Year Award", and Amanda Mkamanga a paralegal from North Carolina as the "Paralegal of the Year Award".

In 2013 Lawyers to the Rescue launched a free series of lectures taught by lawyers to members of the homeless community called the Homeless Education Advocacy Resource Training (HEART) in conjunction with Miami's Camillus House to educate people on how to expunge criminal records, obtain a simplified dissolution of marriage and apply for disability benefits. The program was created by Miami criminal defense lawyer Scott Kotler.

References

Lawyers to the Rescue Wikipedia


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