Pro Bono in this County:
Information is currently being updated.
Erie County Bar Association Legal Aid Volunteer Attorneys (LAVA) Program
The LAVA Program matches private attorneys with eligible individuals needing civil legal services. Each year these local attorneys generously donate their time by providing direct representation free of charge to Erie's low-income citizens. Low-income people needing an attorney in the criminal area should contact the Public Defender's Office at 814-451-6322.
Administration and screening for LAVA eligibility are handled by Northwestern Legal Services. Potential clients must be eligible both financially and by the type of case. To apply for help, call 814-452-6957, Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tina M. Fryling Honored with PBA Pro Bono Award, Dec. 3, 2020
A 2020 PBA Pro Bono Award was given to Tina M. Fryling of Erie on Dec. 3, 2020, at the Erie County Bar Association Annual Meeting over Zoom to celebrate her work for the public good. Fryling is a longstanding volunteer in the Legal Aid Volunteer Attorneys program in Erie County, completing Chapter 13 and Chapter 7 bankruptcies during the past year and providing significant hours of pro bono services. She helped an elderly man keep his home with the utilities on for the successful Chapter 13 bankruptcy; a second client obtained a fresh start and achieved his goals with his Chapter 7 bankruptcy. A voice for the voiceless, Fryling has been an active member of the Erie County Bar Association since 1995 and is currently a member of the Lawyer Referral & Information System Task Force.
As noted by Northwestern Legal Services attorney, David Baxter, “She is always willing to help when I call.”
Every lawyer licensed in Pennsylvania supports access to justice with a portion of their annual licensing fee going to legal aid programs, but it is the efforts of Fryling and all who do pro bono work and encourage others to join the fight to provide equal access to justice who truly promote the public good.
Baxter, Heidt and Trucilla Honored with Pro Bono Awards, Aug. 22, 2019
PBA President Anne N. John presented the Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award to David A. Baxter of Northwestern Legal Services; Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille Award to Erie County President Judge John J. Trucilla; and Jeffrey A. Ernico Award to private practitioner Gregory L. Heidt during the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Board Meeting on Aug. 22 in Erie.
Pictured (left to right): Erie County Bar Association President Bradley K. Enterline, Northwestern Legal Services Executive Director Jennifer Langer, Baxter, PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David Trevaskis, John, Judge Trucilla and Heidt.
Cook and Foster of Erie County Honored with PBA Pro Bono Awards, Dec. 6
Attorneys Ronald E. Cook and Daniel P. Foster were honored with 2018 PBA Pro Bono Awards on Dec. 6 at the Erie County Bar Association Annual Meeting. The two were honored for standing in for a medically disabled attorney who was no longer able to practice. They assumed responsibility, with no guarantee of payment, for 44 cases in various stages of the bankruptcy process, including Chapter 7 and 13 cases. They attended 53 court hearings and filed 97 separate pleadings, including various motions and Chapter 13 plans. They successfully moved to reopen and vacate dismissal orders in 15 cases, which had been dismissed solely due to the inaction of the former attorney. In making the otherwise lost clients whole, and in maintaining the integrity of the justice system, Cook and Foster knew they were going to be uncompensated for much of their work but they continued to provide their services on a pro bono basis in those clients’ cases until final resolution.
Pictured below, from left: Erie County Bar Association President Eric Purchase, PBA Director of Western Pennsylvania Services Bridget M. Gillespie and Ronald Cook. Not pictured: Daniel Foster.