Widener University School of Law, home of Delaware Volunteer Legal Services, was recognized as a partner in the delivery of free legal services to the indigent during a recent celebration marking the 25th anniversary of DVLS.
The event was held Thursday, Nov. 8 in the Gold Ballroom of the Hotel du Pont in Wilmington. Widener received the first recognition of the night – a plaque in honor of its long-standing partnership with DVLS.
DVLS is the pro bono arm of the Delaware State Bar Association. Widener University School of Law has provided the organization in-kind office space and administrative support since the mid 1980s when high rental costs of downtown Wilmington office space prompted a charitable offer by then-Law Dean Anthony Santoro to move the organization to the law school campus.
DVLS has a staff of six, including two full-time staff attorneys. They receive considerable assistance from Widener students, through the Widener-run Delaware Civil Clinic and Legal Help Link, the toll-free phone line staffed by students. Students responded last year to approximately 20,000 calls made by people seeking legal representation through the phone line. In addition, law students acting on behalf of clinic clients are covered under DVLS malpractice insurance.
In the last 25 years, DVLS staff attorneys and more than 1,100 volunteer attorneys have represented or given advice to more than 25,000 clients. They have included victims of domestic violence seeking protection-from-abuse orders, elderly clients needing wills and terminally ill people needing advanced health care directives.
“We celebrate with DVLS on reaching this milestone anniversary. Widener is proud of its long-standing relationship with DVLS and is grateful for the opportunities it has presented our law students to live out the school’s mission of civic engagement and public service,” Law Dean Linda L. Ammons said.
In addition to recognizing Widener, DVLS presented Founders’ Awards to John C. Andrade, Esq., who graduated from Widener Law in 1978 when it was known as Delaware Law School of Widener College, and who now serves as an adjunct law professor; David B. Brown, Esq. and Joseph A. Rosenthal, Esq. The program also included the awarding of the Christine M. McDermott Legacy Award to Jody Huber, Esq., a 2004 Widener Law graduate, and an award to Vice Chancellor Donald F. Parsons Jr. for dedication to providing legal services to the poor. Captions:
Photo 1: Karen Jacobs Louden, president of the DVLS board of directors, Janine Howard-O'Rangers, DVLS executive director, and award winners John C. Andrade, Joseph A. Rosenthal and David B. Brown.
Photo 2: shows, from left, Janine Howard-O'Rangers, DVLS executive director; Widener Law alumna Jody Huber, Esq., recipient of the Christine M. McDermott Legacy Award in honor of the late McDermott, who taught at Widener Law; and Karen Jacobs Louden, president of the DVLS board of directors.
Photo 3: from left, Karen Jacobs Louden, president of the DVLS board of directors, presenting Widener Law Dean Linda L. Ammons with a plaque recognizing the law school as a partner in the delivery of free legal services to the indigent.
Photo 4: shows, Widener Law students who attended the celebration included, from left, Elvira Berry, Laura Handel, Isha Mehta, Kara Donoghue, Mona Prakash, Kelly Hadley and Lori Jaross.