On Friday, October 17, 2014, Florida Guardian ad Litem Program Executive Director Alan Abramowitz issued a press release announcing the hiring of a pro bono attorney recruiter.
This new position will help recruit attorneys statewide who will use their expertise to assist children involved in the dependency system.
The press release is reproduced below.
The Florida Guardian ad Litem Program
Announces Pro Bono Attorney Recruiter
by Alan Abramowitz
Friday, October 17, 2014
Tallahassee, Florida — Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program, announced today that the program has hired its first pro bono attorney recruiter.
The Florida Guardian ad Litem Program has expanded its recruitment efforts to include pro bono attorneys. The program will use targeted recruitment efforts to recruit attorneys who will use their expertise to assist children involved in the dependency system with issues such as special education, probate, guardianship, appeals or immigration to work pro bono as part of the program team. Hilary Creary, a former circuit director in Broward County, will serve as the program's first pro bono attorney recruiter.
In 2014, the legislature passed House Bill 561 to have attorneys for children with special needs. The new law "encourages the expansion of pro bono representation for children" and it also requires that before a special needs child obtains an attorney funded through state dollars, the "court must request a recommendation from the Statewide Guardian ad Litem Office for an attorney who is willing to represent a child without additional compensation." We have created a position to facilitate pro bono attorneys around the state through recruitment, training and coordinating with local offices.
Hilary Creary stated, "I am honored to have been chosen as the first pro bono recruiter for the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program. This new role allows me to advocate statewide for our most vulnerable children, by ensuring that each of them receives the best legal advocacy from attorneys who are willing to give of their time and talent."
"I am excited to be working with Hilary, recruiting and training pro bono attorneys to work with the program and the courts to improve the lives of our kids. Hilary's knowledge and skills make her the ideal candidate for this project," said Kelly Swartz, Director of Legal Services for the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program.
"Lawyers are an integral part of what the Guardian ad Litem Program does every day. With Hilary focused on recruiting pro bono attorneys for the program, we can strengthen the guardian ad litem team even more with a wide variety of legal expertise from across the state," said Alan Abramowitz, Executive Director of the Florida Guardian ad Litem Program.
To learn more about volunteering as a guardian ad litem, visit guardianadlitem.org or call (866) 341-1425.