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Farewell to our Founding Executive Director: Barbara J. Prager

The Board of Directors of Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) recently announced that its founding executive director, Barbara J. Prager, will retire on December 31, 2018. 

Barbara is passionate about the difference that free legal services make in leveling the playing field for those in our community who cannot afford an attorney, but whose cause is deserved of one. Under her strong leadership, Barbara’s vision to improve the lives of low-income senior citizens, victims of domestic violence, Veterans and others in our community through advocacy, education, representation and empowerment, and to help those clients achieve both personal and economic stability, has become a reality. Since opening its doors in January 2004, legal assistance has been provided in more than 57,500 cases enabling clients to achieve personal and economic stability.

The remarkable outcomes achieved on behalf of clients at CCLA are a direct result of Barbara’s extraordinary leadership and grace. She brings professionalism, thoughtfulness and focus to the office every single day.

Barbara attended New York Law School with the intent of becoming a legal aid attorney. After a few years in private practice, she went to work with Legal Aid Service of Broward County in 1982, first as a litigator, then as supervising attorney of the Senior Citizen Law Project. When Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida was established in 2003 in response to a statewide reorganization of legal aid programs, Barbara became its first Executive Director.

“The Board expresses its tremendous gratitude to Ms. Prager for her years of service to our community, dedication and leadership. She has embodied everything good about legal aid programs. We thank her for her years of service to those without a voice,” said Steven Jaffe, Board Chair. “Because of Barbara’s efforts and leadership, tens of thousands of Broward County Seniors, families and Veterans have had access to the legal system and the justice it can and should afford.”

With Barbara at the helm, the close-knit team at CCLA has merited many accolades including recognition as Outstanding Program of the year by the Broward Victim’s Rights Coalition, Broward Domestic Violence Council and Jewish Family Services, and has been distinguished by Nova Southeastern University and others. Barbara was recently honored with the 2018 Community Leader Award by the Domestic Violence Council.

The legacy Barbara built will continue to serve the neediest citizens of Broward County for many, many years to come, and we’ll miss her as we move her vision forward.