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Access Justice Brooklyn to honor a pair of attorneys at annual gala

November 13, 2022 Rob Abruzzese
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Access Justice Brooklyn, formerly known as the Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project, will honor a pair of attorneys during its upcoming gala on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge.

Janice MacAvoy, a partner at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, will receive the “Dedication to Justice” award, and Charles John O’Byrne, executive vice president for policy at Related Companies, will receive the “Lifetime Achievement” award.

The annual event helps to raise money for Access Justice Brooklyn, which helps Brooklynites with low incomes and in marginalized communities face their legal challenges. AJB works to train attorneys in exchange for free legal services to help their clients access the legal system.

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AJB just wrapped up a recent continuing legal education seminar. On Tuesday, November 1, the group held a CLE on cultural competence, which focused on understanding and respecting cultural differences and mitigating implicit bias. It was an hour and a half long presentation that gave attorneys specific examples of how their own cultural competence and bias could be impacting their practices.

Attorneys were allowed to attend that event for free in exchange for taking on a case pro bono. AJB’s model provides free courses like this to train attorneys, supervises them throughout the case, and steps in with assistance when needed.

Access Justice Brooklyn’s next CLE will be an “Introduction to Consumer Bankruptcy” on Tuesday, December 6 at 3 P.M. That lecture will help attorneys assist new to low-asset, low-income Brooklynites who must file Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

That panel, which includes attorneys Sheldon Barasch and Bruce Weiner, will give an overview of the steps in a consumer bankruptcy case, discuss the general principals and review the petition and form preparation.

Charles John O’Byrne, executive vice president for policy at Related Companies, will receive the “Lifetime Achievement” award. Photos courtesy of Access Justice Brooklyn. Photo courtesy of Access Justice Brooklyn

In addition to providing lawyers with free continuing legal education in exchange for taking on cases, AJB also helps by providing direct free legal advice and representation to people who cannot otherwise afford it. AJB also hosts programs that provide education and outreach to Brooklyn with a priority towards housing, family stability, and subsistence income.

Every Thursday from 2 P.M. until 4 P.M. in the Civil Court located at 141 Livingston St., The Civil Legal Advice and Resource Office (CLARO) is available to provide unrepresented consumers with free advice and counsel about debt collection matters.

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