For decades, St. Petersburg Partner Jim Dickson has dedicated many pro bono hours working with St. Petersburg’s Community Law Program (CLP), the primary source of free legal aid services in the St. Petersburg area. Last October, Dickson was elected to serve as President of the 501(c)(3)non-profit corporation, continuing his and the organization’s collective crusade to ensure access to justice for low-income individuals in Pinellas County, Florida.
CLP is a non-profit corporation formed in 1989 by members of the St. Petersburg Bar Association. CLP harnesses the power of its Pro Bono Legal Representation Panel – comprised of dedicated volunteer attorneys – to provide free legal representation to individuals in numerous types of civil cases. These include cases related to bankruptcy, family law, will and advanced directives, housing, and probate matters. Notably, CLP facilitates free monthly legal clinics for residents, including Courthouse Legal Assistance Clinics, Elder Law Clinics, Divorce Forms Classes, Family Law Forms Review, Housing Clinics and Probate Clinics. The organization also runs a Transitioning Youth Program, which provides legal assistance to dependent youth, ages 13 to 19, who are living in the foster care system.
Dickson has worked with CLP since serving as a founding board member in 1989 and returning to the board in 2012. Along with providing direct volunteer pro bono services, Dickson has also dedicated a significant amount of time to fundraising for CLP and assisting the CLP Executive Director in expanding program services. In 2016 – under Dickson’s leadership – CLP launched Leadership CLP, a new program that helps develop attorney skills and network relationships across the areas of greatest need for pro bono service in the community. The initial program involves four sessions covering issues of family law and domestic violence.