ALBANY, N.Y. (October 14, 2015) – When Attorney James T. Towne, Jr., Principal and Vice President of Towne, Ryan & Partners, P.C., first approached The Legal Project’s Executive Director Lisa Frisch about his concerns about the difficulties surrounding legal assistance in rural communities – he found a kindred spirit.
The Legal Project, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to make the law more accessible to those in need-especially to victims of domestic violence, was in the very beginning stages of developing a Civil Legal Outreach Center. The Center is envisioned to establish relationships with public libraries and other community centers across the greater Capital Region to provide those living in rural areas, those without transportation and those who have physical challenges a convenient location to readily access legal advice and support services. When completed, the Center will utilize state-of-the-art technology to remotely connect those individuals with attorneys for private, “face-to-face” legal consultations, allowing them to resolve their civil legal concerns more quickly and with fewer obstacles. The Outreach Center will vastly expand The Legal Project’s services’ footprint.
In the following months after his initial conversation with Lisa, Jim committed himself to backing the organization’s endeavor through ideas, his time and essential funding to make the Outreach Center a reality.
“The challenges facing many rural domestic violence victims in accessing legal support services is exacerbated by the limited number of attorneys practicing in rural areas, coupled with limited or non-existent public transportation,” said Mr. Towne. “Hopefully, through the Outreach Center, the excellent legal support services provided by The Legal Project will be made readily available to remote legal services consumers through enhanced technology.”
In recognition of his guidance and dedication to this project, Jim has been honored with the prestigious Legal Project Champion Award, which he will receive at the Pro Bono Awards Luncheon on October 14th at the Century House in Latham. The annual award is given to individuals throughout the Capital District who have made a tremendous difference in supporting the work of The Legal Project and promoting the organization’s mission.
“Jim was chosen to be recognized for The Legal Project Champion Award because of his leadership and on-going guidance in the development of this vital project, which will impact many people who otherwise would have difficulty accessing critical civil legal help in our communities,” said Ms. Frisch.
To continue propelling this project and future projects for the organization, Jim has additionally agreed to serve as a member of The Legal Project’s Advisory Board. The Advisory Board, which consists of leaders in the Capital Region’s legal community who share in the mission of the organization, work together with the Board of Directors and the Executive Director on significant projects and planning for The Legal Project’s programs and fundraising activities.
“Technology is perhaps the best way to reach those in critical need of access to legal advice concerning their rights and responsibilities,” said Towne. “This gift will hopefully provide the groundwork for an effective platform for many years to come.”
About The Legal Project
Founded in 1995 by the Capital District Women’s Bar Association, The Legal Project is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides a variety of free and low cost legal services to the working poor, victims of domestic violence and other underserved individuals. To learn more about the organization or to donate, visit www.legalproject.org.