American College of Bankruptcy Announces 2021 Pro Bono Grantees
Monday, December 6, 2021
December 6, 2021 - Stanardsville, VA
The American College of Bankruptcy and the American College of Bankruptcy Foundation announced today that they have awarded 46 pro bono grants, totaling $456,200, to legal services organizations located in 25 states, plus the District of Columbia. As part of their missions, the College and the Foundation, through the Foundation's Pro Bono Committee, award grants to organizations providing assistance to individuals and groups in need of bankruptcy-related legal representation, training and/or education. Since 2012, the College and Foundation have awarded over $4 million in grants to these worthy programs.
The College and the Foundation awarded grants to the following organizations this year:
ABA Fund For Justice and Education
Brooklyn Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project
California Western Community Law Project
San Diego, CA
Capital Pro Bono, Inc.
Central Virginia Legal Aid Society
Conejo Free Clinic
Thousand Oaks, CA
Connecticut Veterans Legal Center
West Haven, CT
Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Project
Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE)
Dade Legal Aid - Put Something Back
DC Bar Pro Bono Center
District 10 Pro Bono Project
Financial Protection Law Center
Georgia Legal Services Program
Greater Boston Legal Services
New York, NY
Illinois Legal Aid Online
Legal Access Alameda
Legal Aid Association of California
Legal Aid of Nebraska
Legal Aid of Arkansas, Inc.
Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati
Legal Aid Society of Middle Tennessee and the Cumberlands
Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County
West Palm Beach, FL
Legal Aid Society of San Diego
San Diego, CA
Legal Assistance of Western New York
Legal Services of Eastern Michigan
Legal Services Vermont
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
Mid-Shore Pro Bono
Neighborhood Legal Services of LA County
Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland
Los Angeles, CA
Public Law Center
Santa Ana, CA
Public Service Law Corporation dba Riverside Legal Aid
Q Law Foundation of Washington
Rutgers University Law School Pro Bono
South Alabama Volunteer Lawyers Program
Statewide Legal Services of Connecticut, Inc.
Step Up to Justice
The Pro Bono Project
New Orleans, LA
Veterans Legal Services
Volunteer Lawyers for Justice
Volunteer Lawyers Network
Volunteer Lawyers Project of the Boston Bar Association
The Foundation awarded its Michael L. Cook Extraordinary Grant to Her Justice, based in New York, NY, to support its Marital Debt Project. The Marital Debt Project provides assistance to women living in poverty dealing with consumer debt issues caused by divorce. The Foundation selected Her Justice for special recognition, because the grant focuses on an underserved need, women who are dealing with divorce and related financial distress. The majority of the clients are women of color and survivors of intimate partner violence or other gender-based violence. The domestic abuse often includes financial abuse, such as identity theft, withholding of income, requiring an individual to incur debt, or saddling the individual with debt incurred unknowingly through the actions of their spouses. Through the Marital Debt Project, volunteer attorneys provide information, brief advice or full representation to women who seek to file divorce and have accrued consumer debt. The attorneys are trained to recognize the particular issues arising as a result of the debt and can assist their clients in resolving them.
The Michael L. Cook Extraordinary Grant was created in Mr. Cook's honor in 2016. It is awarded to a legal services organization that offers an innovative and exemplary approach to a previously under-served area of need. A Fellow since 1997, Michael Cook served as Chair and President of the College and Chair of its Board of Regents from 2010-2016, and as Chair of the Pro Bono Committee from 2008-2010.
At the most recent meeting of the College Board of Directors, Mark Bloom, Chair of the Board, expressed his thanks to the leadership of the Foundation and the Pro Bono Committee, and his appreciation to the members of the Committee for having reviewed and analyzed countless grant applications and selected such worthy recipients. He also praised the Fellows of the College for their generous donations, saying it was heartwarming that Fellows continually help fund public service organizations that are doing such important work for those in need.
The American College of Bankruptcy is an honorary public service association of the United States and international insolvency professionals who are invited to join as Fellows based on a proven record of the highest standards of expertise, leadership, integrity, professionalism, scholarship, and service to the bankruptcy and insolvency practice and to their communities. The College facilitates the effective domestic and cross-border application of bankruptcy and insolvency laws and the administration of justice in the courts through, among other activities, conducting professional educational programs, sponsoring the publication of scholarly reports, and maintaining the National Bankruptcy Archives. The College also funds projects that improve the quality of bankruptcy law and practice, as well as access to justice, in particular through grants by its affiliated Foundation to pro bono legal service programs. The Foundation is believed to be the single largest financial supporter of pro bono bankruptcy services in the United States, contributing over $3 million since 2012. In all of its work, the College is dedicated to enhancing professionalism, scholarship, diversity, equity and inclusion in and service to bankruptcy and insolvency law and practice.