Orlando, Fla. (February XX, 2019) – With thousands of people in Florida needing pro bono help on their legal matters, a UCF Business Incubation Program client has come up with a unique way to provide it – and teach aspiring lawyers at the same time.
Orlando’s SavvySuit designed and launched the Florida Pro Bono Law School Challenge in partnership with The Florida Bar Foundation. Across the state, Florida law school alumni and law students are paired in a mentorship capacity to work on pro bono cases ranging from probate and landlord to immigration and young children placed in state care.
In the first two weeks, more than 200 students and lawyers chose a case through the program.
“There is no shortage of cases where Floridians need legal assistance, but can’t afford to be represented,” Eli Mattern, SavvySuit’s CEO, says. “By patterning this after popular sports contests, like March Madness, we have already seen the pride people have with their law schools translating into a willingness to help.”
To participate, students and lawyers visit FloridaLawSchoolChallenge.org and choose which of state’s 12 law schools they would like to represent. Students pick a case from hundreds available posted by legal aid organizations; lawyers agree to mentor them.
The contest runs through May 10, and three winners will be named: the law school with the most student participation, the most alumni participation, and the most total points.
Winners will be recognized at the Annual Florida Bar Convention in June.
“A core part of the Foundation’s mission is to promote public service among lawyers by making it an integral part of the law school experience,” Claud Nelson, The Florida Bar Foundation’s pro bono program director, says. “By creating a platform for more than 6,000 law students in Florida to have access to available pro bono cases and mentors at their fingertips, we hope to see a noticeable increase in the number of cases being taken to help Florida’s most vulnerable populations – the elderly, the poor, children.”
As of January 31, the University of Miami Law School was in the lead with 53 students and alumni participating. More than 115 matches have been made statewide.
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For more information media should contact –
Eli Mattern, SavvySuit, 407-506-5941, email@example.com
Carol Ann Dykes Logue, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-207-7426, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Byrd, Alan Byrd & Associates, 407-415-8470, Alan@ByrdConnections.com
About SavvySuit: SavvySuit builds cool tech for the legal field. They bridge the gap between attorneys and developers because their founders are both. SavvySuit works in a multitude of mediums under the legal tech umbrella—they’ve received a patent for their time-tracking device, built software solutions for private organizations, and continue to prototype new ways to use tech in the law. For more information, visit www.SavvySuit.com.
About the UCF Business Incubation Program: The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth/impact enterprises. Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped over 390 local startup companies reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources.
With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs. For the 2016/17 and 2017 /18 fiscal years, the activities of these participating firms have helped sustain more than 6,275 local jobs and have had a cumulative impact of more than $888 million on regional GDP and more than $1.59 billion on regional sales. During the same period, the program has returned $12.03 for every $1 invested in the program. For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu
About The Florida Bar Foundation
The Florida Bar Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide greater access to justice. Through strategic grantmaking, the Foundation funds local and statewide civil legal aid organizations and projects to improve the administration of justice and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the legal aid delivery system. The Foundation engages in catalytic philanthropy by investing in training, technology, technical assistance, assessment and capacity-building for legal aid and works to develop and expand innovative pro bono initiatives. Visit www.TheFloridaBarFoundation.org for more information.