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Adams and Reese St. Petersburg office partner V. James “Jim” Dickson helped spearhead the 2017 fundraising effort to benefit the Community Law Program (CLP) as the CLP president helped facilitate the annual “Jackpot For Justice” on Friday, Oct. 20, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club.

The CLP’s Annual Dinner helped raise more than $40,000 as part of an event which featured a cocktail reception, dinner, raffles, a silent auction and a “Casino Night”. Dickson not only serves as the CLP president but also donated much of his time, money and personal photography to the event.

The organization was formed in 1989 by members of the St. Petersburg Bar Association to serve the civil legal needs of low-income and disadvantaged individuals. Dickson was among the original founding members and the CLP’s mission is to assure a person’s access to justice is not barred by a person’s limited income. Last year, the CLP served more than 3,500 families at a cost of approximately $85 per family.

The CLP’s services currently include individual representation, legal advice clinics and special projects. The individual representation is provided by a panel of more than 300 volunteer lawyers who donate pro bono legal services to thousands of individuals in need of civil legal assistance each year. Sixteen regular legal clinics offer legal advice that addresses issues concerning family law, bankruptcy, housing, probate, unemployment compensation, wills and advance directives for seniors, and general civil disputes. Among the CLP’s special projects are a Community Counsel Program which offers legal assistance to qualified non-profit organizations, The Self-Help Center at the courthouse in downtown St. Petersburg, a Guardian Advocacy Project which assists families caring for the developmentally disabled, and the Lawyers for Young Adults which assists individuals who have aged out of foster care in need of legal help to gain or maintain stability.

In addition to Dickson, other Adams and Reese personnel representing the firm at the event were partner Lynn Welter Sherman, regional office manager Tellie M. Settimi, paralegal Eric T. Francis, legal secretary Carol R. Tim and their families.

Dickson has practiced law since 1977 and joined Adams and Reese in 2010 following the firm’s expansion into St. Petersburg. His practice focuses on construction law, environmental law and commercial business advice. He is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in construction law and is also an adjunct professor at Stetson University School of Law where he teaches “Environmental Hazards of Real Property.”