From Pam Hoekwater, Executive Director
The need for civil legal aid goes beyond what we or any other legal aid program can meet. In the 17 counties we serve, over 686,000 individuals are financially eligible for free legal assistance. That equates to one legal aid attorney for every 12,950 financially eligible clients.
Thankfully, law firms and individual members of the private bar continually step up to help us level the playing field by volunteering their expertise pro bono.

Access to legal representation makes all the difference for our clients—and partners who volunteer pro bono get to both see and be that change. We are so grateful!
In this issue:

  • Client Story: Pro bono help for a senior facing serious medical debt
  • By The Numbers: Pro bono in 2020
  • Happening Now: Watch our virtual event on family law
  • From the Board: Mike Callahan on the satisfaction of pro bono
  • Shout-Outs: Celebrating award-winners, Leslie Curry and Ceata Bell!
Client Story: Contesting a huge, unexpected medical bill
Nancy has been battling serious health issues. Following her last heart attack, the doctors implanted a defibrillator to help regulate her heart and prevent further life-threatening situations. But it wasn’t until nearly two years later that Nancy received a hospital bill—for $50,000—which stated that the procedure had been wrongly coded and the device wasn’t covered by her insurance. Nancy and her doctor tried to resubmit the claim and ask for reconsideration, but four years later, Nancy was sued for the bill.

By the time she contacted LAWM, Nancy’s options were limited, and she knew her only hope was getting a lawyer to represent her. We enlisted the help of one of our longtime pro bono partners who agreed to take Nancy’s case. After eighteen months of research and investigation, the attorney was able to negotiate with the defense counsel to have the case dismissed entirely, with prejudice.

Thanks to this attorney’s commitment, Nancy was finally free from the weight of an unjust medical debt.
By The Numbers: Pro bono cases in 2020
We closed 163 pro bono cases in 2020
Pro bono attorneys donated 3,412 hours
121 attorneys volunteered their expertise pro bono
Happening Now: New resources
From the Board
Mike Callahan, LAWM Board Member, General Counsel at Stiles Machinery, Inc.

Mike is one of our pro bono all-stars! He writes:

“I can’t overstate how satisfying and rewarding pro bono work can be. In fact, there is no better satisfaction than knowing you helped somebody who was truly in need.”
Staff & Partner Shout-Outs
Join us in making justice real for low-income Michiganders!
Every gift changes lives. Thank you!