Attorney: Volunteering reminds me of ‘how lucky I am’

ATTORNEY

Jacksonville Area Legal Aid’s Eviction Defense Self-Help Project provides free weekly legal assistance for qualifying tenants who need to defend against an eviction or need advice concerning their poor housing conditions.

Aaron Irving, Director of pro bono, Jacksonville Area Legal Aid.

Marks Gray attorney Julianna Favale routinely volunteers for this Wednesday afternoon clinic. Favale first became involved with this community outreach project through one of JALA’s longtime pro bono advocates and volunteer Logan McEwen, a partner at her firm.

“Any time I volunteer for the clinic, I am quickly reminded of how lucky I am to have clean running water, a roof that does not leak, A/C that works in a hot Florida summer and other conditions that make my home livable,” Favale said.

It is commonplace for tenants to feel they have no voice against their landlords when these situations arise. Through this clinic, Favale said that she finds her pro bono work personally rewarding, especially when providing legal guidance to tenants so they may exercise their rights to have those livable conditions.

Favale first expressed interest in making pro bono work part of her ongoing legal practice while a law clerk at Marks Gray.

Fortunately, Marks Gray strongly encourages its attorneys to be involved in pro bono work and so, once admitted to The Florida Bar in September 2021, Favale was encouraged to volunteer with JALA. 

Early on, it became evident to Favale how important pro bono work is not only for those assisted, but also for the attorney. McEwen encouraged Favale to join him while he volunteered for JALA clinics.

“Seeing how he positively impacted others through his work, I knew I wanted to similarly give back,” Favale said.

Favale also is actively involved in JALA’s Ask-A-Lawyer events, including its Veterans Legal Collaborative project, which is held monthly at the VA Clinic in downtown Jacksonville. At these events, members of the public can obtain brief counsel and advice from attorneys in a variety of practice areas.

To Favale, JALA is an essential component which makes her personal pro bono commitment possible.

“JALA provides numerous opportunities for young attorneys to get involved and give back to the community, and it equips attorneys with resources to effectively advise and represent clients while giving them a network of other pro bono attorneys,” she said.

As a young associate attorney, Favale is already more involved than many seasoned attorneys. When asked what advice she has for young associates, as well as seasoned members of the Bar, Favale suggests getting involved with organizations and causes that resonate with your unique set of skills and passions. It will make the work you do more fulfilling.

Favale received her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 2018 and her Juris Doctor from Florida State University College of Law in 2021. Her practice areas at Marks Gray include civil litigation, insurance defense, transaction, and intellectual property matters. 

For those interested in getting involved with JALA’s Pro Bono Unit, visit jaxlegalaid.org/pro-bono/ where you can find several volunteer opportunities, including cases awaiting placement.

 

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