Recently the Kitsap County Bar Association awarded GSJones Law Group with the Humanitarian Award for community service. The award recognizes more than 400 hours of volunteer labor to support our community in 2018. In introducing the award, Bar Association Trustee Ron Richmond, a former GSJones Law Group attorney, said, “GSJones Law Group is where I learned what law was all about. Where I learned that justice is not justice unless it is accessible. And where I personally watched tonight’s recipients dedicate countless hours to the advancement of better communities, a better legal system, and a better tomorrow through volunteerism.”
The partners and most of the staff, pictured above, were on hand at the annual celebration. The volunteer work has been ongoing for many years through Kitsap Legal Services, Northwest Justice Project and the Rotary Club of South Kitsap. We are so honored by this recognition from the legal community filled with attorneys who also have impressive community service records. And Ron’s words warmed our hearts. We are very proud of our “graduate.”
Partner John Groseclose and legal assistant Cassie Close both serve on the board of Kitsap Legal Services. In addition, John serves as president. Sara Humphries received the Humanitarian Award in 2014, partially in honor of her work with KLS where she continues to volunteer. At the time she served on the board. At KLS attorneys, paralegals and other volunteers provide information, advice and representation for Kitsap residents who cannot afford attorneys.
Attorney Larry Lofgren volunteers regularly at the Spanish language family law clinic. In addition to her work for KLS, Cassie serves as a CASA volunteer representing the interests of children in Juvenile Court and submitting reports to the court.
The Weekly Tenant Clinic, started by, among others, John Groseclose, meets every Friday morning from 8:30 to 10:30 in room 250 at the Kitsap County Superior Court. It is a walk-in clinic, no appointment necessary. Bring any paperwork, including leases and payment information.
For help with other non-criminal legal issues make an appointment through the Northwest Justice Project by calling 800-621-4636. In addition, check out the excellent legal guides and forms.
Rotary Club of South Kitsap
Managing Partner David Jones is currently the president of the Rotary board and has been an active volunteer for many years. Port Orchard and other residents of South Kitsap know all the good work that the Rotary Club of South Kitsap does for the community, including scholarships, help for struggling families and community betterment. Larry Lofgren is also active in the Bainbridge Island Rotary Club.
Humanitarian Award Speech
On behalf of the bar association Ron Richmond said:
We take the unusual step tonight of presenting this award not to an individual, but to a group. To a team. To a collective that adopts as one of their core tenets that they take action to help solve social problems and … they may do it to excess.
This group, a firm of attorneys and their assistants, is a close-knit team that takes a lead role in volunteerism from community assistance to legal aid. They host regular volunteer clinics at their office. And then, they follow up with those who come to clinics, as well as facilitate CLEs to help others volunteer.
Two of them serve on the board of Kitsap Legal Services, one as its president; one of them is the President of a local Rotary club and leads the coordination of their events. In addition, they regularly contract with the Northwest Justice Project to provide legal services at vastly discounted rates.
$75,000 in donated time
Many of you know my enjoyment of auditing numbers. I talked with one of the Group earlier this week to get some official numbers about their service, and their conservative estimate, between attorneys and staff, is close to 400 hours of volunteer work and leadership in 2018. At least four hundred hours, and this is an understated number.
When we look at the hourly value of the time in our profession, for attorneys and staff, my math says that this volunteer investment into the community has a value of over $75,000.00 worth of time that they have donated.
For those of you who may not yet have guessed our recipient this year, the final clue is that about a decade ago, they took in a disabled attorney brand new to the profession. They made every accommodation needed to allow that disabled person to thrive and grow in a law practice – that attorney was me.
GSJones Law Group is where I learned what law was all about. Where I learned that justice is not justice unless it is accessible. And where I personally watched tonight’s recipients dedicate countless hours to the advancement of better communities, a better legal system, and a better tomorrow through volunteerism.