Brunini attorneys from all practice areas regularly volunteer their time to provide free legal services to those in need. Brunini was awarded the 2011 Curtis E. Coker “Access to Justice Award” by the Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project in recognition of the Firm’s assistance in handling individual indigent cases, contribution to the MVLP Pro Bono Manual and the leadership of La’Verne Edney as the MVLP General Counsel for two years.
Our lawyers and legal professionals participate in numerous organizations, some of which are listed below, that provide valuable assistance to Mississippi’s underserved:
- Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project
- Habitat for Humanity
- Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi
- Operation Shoestring
- Catholic Charities
- Madison County Schools
- MadCAAP [Madison Countians Allied Against Poverty]
The Firm’s Pro Bono Committee, headed by Joseph Sclafani, receives, evaluates and approves requests for pro bono assistance and assigns cases to the appropriate attorneys within the firm. The work of our Pro Bono Committee, through the support of everyone at Brunini, has enabled the Mississippi Bar to improve the delivery of legal services to the poor and indigent, to speed resolution of matters, and to help reduce the backlog of such cases before the court.
Mississippi Volunteer Lawyers Project (MVLP)
One of the largest volunteer organizations in the State, the MVLP consists of over 1,500 Mississippi attorneys who assist more than 5,000 low income citizens throughout the State each year. Brunini is a significant presence within the MVLP, not only for the number of our attorneys who handle pro bono cases, but also for our leadership role administratively.
In an effort to streamline procedures so that a greater number of the needy can be helped, Brunini has participated in preparing MVLP’s Pro Bono Manual, which will serve as a guide to attorneys from throughout the state who provide volunteer service. Our attorneys composed the Guardianship and Conservatorship sections of the Manual, including writing the outlines of the law; compiling additional resources to aid in attorney representation; formulating checklists to follow when practicing in this area; and providing sample pleadings for attorneys’ use.
Examples of Pro Bono Work
Brunini attorneys give of their time and skills wherever and however they may be needed, and our pro bono service therefore reflects great diversity and variety. The firm has completed more than 350 house closings without charge for participants in Habitat for Humanity and we volunteer at numerous community and neighborhood legal clinics sponsored by Stewpot, the Mississippi Bar Association, and others.
We have contributed countless hours for causes such as Hurricane Katrina Assistance; work with impaired lawyers and legal professionals through the Lawyers and Judges Assistance Committee; and volunteer as instructors for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy (NITA) Basic Trial Skills Program for lawyers providing legal services to the poor.
Brunini attorneys have represented individual pro bono clients in matters of domestic relations, guardianship cases, tenant-landlord disputes, and many other situations where legal assistance was needed.
We also provide free legal counsel to worthy institutional clients. Most recently, we assisted a minority economic community revitalization entity to obtain non-profit status as a 501(c)(3) organization.