FORT LAUDERDALE, FL (April 29, 2019) –Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) are pleased to announce the recipients of their 2019 Annual Recognition Awards. The awards will be presented during a Law Day Luncheon co-hosted with the Broward County Bar Association on Friday, May 3, 2019.
The Attorney of the Year is Annabella Barboza, Esq., Law Firm of the Year is Shutts, and the Spirit of Justice Award recipient is JM Family Enterprises, Inc. Additionally, the CCLA Commitment to Justice Awardee is Somy Ali and the LAS Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Awardee is Douglas Reynolds, Esq. The Jacquelyn and Bruce Rogow Employee of the Year is Debra Koprowski, Esq.
“The ongoing need for volunteer legal assistance and vital supportive services to the poor and disadvantaged affects the daily life of many people in our community, including veterans, seniors and families,” said Jeffrey Wank, chair of the LAS/CCLA joint board of directors. “These awards honor those who recognize that need and have committed themselves to serving the community.”
Attorney of the Year
Annabella Barboza, Esq. is a shareholder of Barboza Law & Associates, a boutique law firm specializing in real estate, probate, estate planning and business law. Barboza volunteers with our MISSION UNITED Veterans Pro Bono Project and helped develop our first Veteran estate planning clinic. She has been instrumental in launching the NO PLACE LIKE HOME project assisting low-income families and seniors living on fixed incomes clear title to their homes. Annabella advances our mission and programs through her active engagement on the Board of Directors.
Law Firm of the Year
The Law Firm of the Year award honors a firm that has a long history of supporting LAS and CCLA. Shutts demonstrates a commitment to justice at every level. Attorneys are encouraged to volunteer their time and make financial donations. Partner Edward O’Sheehan heads their Pro Bono Committee and serves on the joint LAS/CCLA Board of Directors. Other attorneys have been involved with the Advice and Counsel Hotline and numerous pro bono cases, logging in excess of 350 pro bono hours. Shutts is a proud sustaining member of the League of Justice.
Spirit of Justice Award
JM Family Enterprises, Inc. has privately and publicly supported Legal Aid Programs in Broward since 1998. In addition to pro bono contributions, they are a ground floor corporate partner in several key initiatives and collaborative programs. Their comprehensive support benefits thousands of clients, and they are the first corporate partner to join our League of Justice, pledging a sustained annual commitment of $10,000. JM Family’s demonstrated history of corporate philanthropy and community partnerships has made Broward County a better place to live.
Commitment to Justice Award
Somy Ali is Bollywood actress, writer, filmmaker, model and activist. As a survivor of child sexual abuse and rape, she powered through a major Hindi film career to earn a degree in Psychology and found No More Tears (NMT) to help rescue human trafficking and domestic violence victims. NMT’s first client was referred by Coast to Coast in 2007. Since then, NMT has provided immediate and direct assistance to over 30,000 adults and children. Somy is a tireless advocate, incredible ally and a true asset to the community.
Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award
The Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award is presented annually to an advocate whose actions exemplify a personal and professional commitment to making justice available to the poor and disadvantaged. Douglas Reynolds, Esq. is a Director at Tripp Scott, PA and Board Certified by the Florida Bar in both Business Litigation and Marital and Family Law. Assisting local legal aids for over 30 years, he represents pro bono clients in various forms of litigation, including business disputes, civil rights, family law, guardianships, housing and personal injury claims. Dedicated to helping the most vulnerable members of our community gain access to our legal system, Doug believes there is no greater calling than helping those most in need.
Jacquelyn and Bruce Rogow Employee of the Year
Debra Koprowski, Esq. has been the Regional Director of Advocacy for Legal Aid Programs in Broward and Collier Counties since 2010. She supervises, mentors, co-counsels, and advises staff attorneys and paralegals in litigation matters and administrates other project duties. Previously, Debra focused her practice on Senior Law at CCLA, representing individuals in foreclosure, eviction, and fraud matters. Debra is a brilliant litigator with a tremendous heart, extraordinary patience and genuine compassion.
To learn more about the honorees please visit BrowardLegalAid.org. To learn more about the Law Day luncheon or to purchase tickets please visit BrowardBar.org.
Annual Sponsors of CCLA and LAS include Birnbaum, Lippman & Gregoire, PLLC; Broward County Bar Association; Florida Power & Light; Gunster; JM Family Enterprises, Inc.; Keller Landsberg; Kelley Kronenberg, Attorneys at Law; Kim Vaughan Lerner LLP; Jacquelyn and Bruce Rogow; Setnor Byer Insurance and Risk; Shutts; Valley National Bank and Weiss Serota Helfman Cole & Bierman, PL.
Legal Aid Service of Broward County is a not-for-profit law firm established in 1973. The mission is to provide high quality free civil legal advice, representation and education to the poor of Broward County so as to improve the lifestyle and living conditions of the low-income community and to encourage self-sufficiency.
Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida is a not-for-profit law firm established in 2003 and funded, in part, by the Legal Services Corporation. The mission is to improve the lives of low income persons in our community through advocacy, education, representation and empowerment.
Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) are 501(c)(3) corporations registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer services (LAS #SC-02337 and CCLA #CH19226). All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A copy of the official registration and financial information may be obtained from the Division of Consumer Services by calling toll-free 1-800-435-7352 within the state or visiting WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM. Registration does not imply endorsement, approval or recommendation by the State.