February 2022
The latest news and updates
Fresh Faces Around the Office
Harrison Derner
Harrison Derner is a 2L at Barry University. He is a member of the Barry’s moot court team. During the fall of 2021, Harrison won best brief in the Wechsler 2021 Free Speech Competition. Harrison previously worked as a legal intern for the Main Law Firm in Maitland. Harrison was born in Pittsburgh PA but has lived in Lake Mary his whole life.

Harrison’s motivation to pursue a J.D. stems from his desire to help his community as well as his lifelong interest history. Harrison earned a B.S. in information systems technology as well as a specialization in cybersecurity at Seminole State College.
Will Hoffman
Will is currently a senior at Penn State, but was raised in Seminole County. He is a political science major with hopes of going to law school after graduating. Hoffman is a of fan Penn State Football, The Magic, UCF, and The Office. Will is really excited to be working back in the place where he grew up and hoping to make as positive of an impact as possible.
Florida Bar Pro-Bono Service Award
We would like to congratulate our very own Emeritus Attorney John Howard King who is the 2021 Pro-Bono Service Award recipient for the 18th judicial circuit. He was honored at the Supreme court on January 20th.
Veteran Legal Advice Clinic
We are excited to announce that our Veteran Legal Advice Clinic will be returning in person starting April 21st from 1:00-4:00pm. These clinics will take place every third Thursday of the month at the Casselberry Library and provide those who have bravely served our country with free legal advice on various family and housing law issues that they may be facing.

If you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Denice Garza at deniceg@scbalas.com
Pro Bono Registration
As we enter into the new year, it's time to start thinking of the impact you could have on the Seminole County community. We ask you to please join us in our efforts to maintain the wonderful quality of life we enjoy in Seminole County by donating your time and talents to help a disenfranchised person(s) with their legal needs or by providing an in lieu of service monetary donation to help support our legal program. Below is a link to our 2022 Pro Bono Registration form for your consideration. Click here to let us know how you plan to impact the Seminole County community.
Goodbye, Maria, Our Pro-Bono Coordinator
Goodbyes are always bittersweet and it is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to our Pro-Bono Coordinator, Maria Machado. We wish her well and are excited to see her take on her new role as the Human Resources Generalist at Alaka'ina Foundation Family of Companies.

Maria started as an intern here at the Seminole County Legal Aid for the fall semester of 2019, during her final year at the University of Central Florida. Upon graduating with a degree in Political Science and a certificate in Intelligence and National Security, Maria returned to our organization as our Pro-Bono Coordinator in the summer of 2020. During her tenure, she has helped to strengthen and grow our pro-bono program as well as build our social media presence. Maria has worked tirelessly for the residents of Seminole County by putting together our annual fundraising event, securing grants and awards for our organization, and serving on both the Child Abuse Prevention Task Force and the membership committee of the Florida Pro-Bono Coordinators Association. She also aided in establishing sealing and expungement workshops by partnering with pro-bono attorneys and Goodwill industries.

Silvia McLain, Executive Director has enjoyed working closely with Machado, stating "Maria is very dedicated and an extraordinary worker who goes above and beyond to ensure that both our clients and the attorneys we work with are supported. She is a truly exceptional young woman. We will miss Maria."
Our New Pro-Bono Coordinator, Camryn Williams
Taking over Maria's position as Pro-Bono Coordinator is Camryn Williams. She has been working as our Intake specialist since August 2021 and is excited to step into this new role. Camryn graduated from Florida State University in December 2020 with a Bachelor of Arts in Chinese Language and Culture and a minor in Art History as well as a Bachelor of Science in International Affairs with a concentration in Political Science. Williams is also pursuing a graduate degree online from Tianjin Foreign Studies University in International Business and Chinese Language. With a passion for law and advocacy, she feels that despite having "big shoes to fill, I am honored to be taking over the position and just hope to serve the community as much as possible."
Keeping Your Kids Safe Online
In this day and age, the number of social media applications is too many to keep track of. As a parent it can seem daunting to determine what websites and apps are safe for your child. To help ease the burden on parents and ensure the safety of children throughout the state, Attorney General Ashley Moody has put together an online safety tool kit to educate parents on every thing from red flags online to descriptions of social media apps that children may be using. To view the online safety toolkit, click the links below.

Seminole County Dental Assistance Program
by Sophia Ulloa
The Community Service Office of Seminole County is currently offering dental assistance to income eligible residents. To be considered eligible applicants must be at least 18 years old living within Seminole County and have a household income at or below 120% of the current area median income.

The dental program offers the following services:
  • Cleanings
  • Extractions
  • Fillings
  • Partial and full dentures
  • Referral costs
  •  Root canals
  • Crowns

An application must first be submitted to be considered for services. Applications are accepted on a first come first served basis, pending funding availability so be sure to apply soon. You can apply by calling (407) 665-2300 or by clicking here.
COVID-19 Funeral Assistance
by Camryn Williams
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, many lives have been lost, leaving many families behind to deal with the cost of this tragedy. With a death toll of around 800,000 people many families are eligible for the funeral cost reimbursement program established by FEMA to ease the burden placed on those who have lost loved ones.

The program may cover the cost of:
  • Funeral services
  • Cremation and interment
  • Caskets, urns, burial plots, cremation niches, markers, or headstones
  • Transportation or transfer of remains
  • Clergy or officiant services
  • The use of funeral home equipment and staff

To qualify, those who passed away between January 20, 2020 and May 16, 2020 must have COVID-19 indicated as a contributing factor or a signed statement from the original certifier. For those who passed after May 16, 2020, the death certificate must attribute the death to COVID-19. For all other questions please click here to visit FEMA's website and to apply, call (844)-684-6333.
Special Thank You to Sherry Fincher, Executive Director for Meals on Wheels
We would like to thank Sherry Fincher for her 30 years of service with Meals on Wheels as Executive Director. We are grateful to have been able to partner with her, providing legal service to the senior residents of Seminole County. We wish her well in all future endeavors.

We would also like to extend a warm welcome to Michael McKee who will be taking over as Executive Director. We look forward to working closely with him in the coming years!
Resources for Victims of Crime
by Maria Machado
The Bureau of Victim Compensation's brochure provides useful information for those within our communities that have fallen victim to such crimes. The resources provided are:

  1. Toll-Free Victim Services Information and Referral Line 1-800-226-6667
  2. Benefits Available
  3. How to Apply
  4. Qualification Guidelines for Applying
  5. Information Need to Apply
  6. Next Steps after a Claim is Submitted

To view the full brochure and get complete information please click here.

Also, to view a list of other resources available to victims of crime please click here.
New Administrative Orders
In Re:  Judges - Appointment Of County Court Judges To Handle Circuit Cases In Certain Situations

In Re:   Judges - Appointment Of Circuit Judges To Handle County Court Cases In Certain Situations

In Re:   Judges - Administrative Rules - COVID-19 Procedures

Administrative Order No.: 22-02 Amended Supersedes 22-02
In Re:      Judges - Appointment Of Circuit Judges To Handle County Court Cases In Certain Situations

Happy Valentine's Day
Upcoming Events

February 1, 2022 - Start of Black History Month

February 14, 2022 - Valentine's Day

February 21, 2022 - President's Day