30 Faces of Pro Bono, 0521 ALBJ, Vol. 82 No. 2 Pg. 195 (June, 2021)

PositionVol. 82 2 Pg. 195

30 Faces of Pro Bono

No. Vol. 82 No. 2 Pg. 195

Alabama Bar Lawyer

May, 2021

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Alabama State Bar's Volunteer Lawyers Program. As a way to thank all of our volunteers, we have selected 30 representatives and will be sharing their stories over the coming year. Each volunteer represents hundreds of others who have made the program successful. That success is not confined to the program, but is shared with every volunteer and every client that received assistance.

Henry A. Callaway, III, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of Alabama, Mobile

Google defines commitment as the state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc. Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Henry Callaway is the definition of being committed to pro bono services and expanding access to justice. He has actively worked for many years to expand access to justice for low-income individuals, including serving on the board of the South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program (SAVLP) for over 25 years, including seven as president. He has also served as chair of the Alabama Access to Justice Commission, president of the Mobile Bar Association, state bar commissioner for three terms, and member of the state bar Executive Council and Disciplinary Commission. He also received the American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico award.

When asked why pro bono work is so important, Judge Callaway explained, "So many aspects of the legal system involving low-income citizens-debt collection, eviction, child support, divorces, etc.-are complicated and virtually impossible for a lay person to navigate without a lawyer. Volunteer lawyers are a great way to address that problem." While serving as chair of the SAVLP, he helped increase the number of participating lawyers to about 700 and expanded the program into surrounding counties. Being solution-oriented, Judge Callaway understands that a lawyer may not be available for everyone, so while serving on the Alabama Access to Justice Commission, he and the commission members developed 25 plain-language pro se forms for litigants.

Even now, he still finds time to expand access to justice and address legal problems. Judge Callaway was instrumental in creating the Alabama Bankruptcy Assistance Project (ABAP) to help low-income individuals file Chapter 7 bankruptcy, and he continues to serve on the ABAP Advisory Board.

Thomas J. Methvin, Beasley...

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