Stephen A. Kolodny, on behalf of his prior law firm, accepted the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law Hall of Fame Volunteer Award for 2010. The KolodnyLawGroup has made volunteer work at the Center a priority and encourages, supports and requests that all of our attorneys donate their time for this important organization.
Mr. Kolodny was an early supporter and director of the Harriett Buhai Center, and remains a member of its Advisory Council.
The mission of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law is to protect victims of domestic violence and improve the well-being of children living in poverty. The Center provides comprehensive legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, which includes sexual assault and stalking by intimate partners. The assistance includes direct legal assistance, pro bono representation, legal education, VAWA immigration, social service and mental health referrals for the victims and their children. A significant portion of the Center’s clientele report current or former histories of abuse.
The Center pioneered the delivery of pro per (self-representation) family law services in California. Its methods were adopted and then modified by the LA Superior Court in development of their family law self-help program. Self-empowerment is a key objective with an emphasis on building skills and increasing self-esteem. Through the Pro Per Program, the Center teaches self-advocacy by preparing individuals to represent themselves in the legal system. For those clients who are unable to represent themselves, a Pro Bono Panel of lawyers, including lawyers and paralegals from the KolodnyLawGroup, is available. The Center established one of the largest and only pro bono panels of attorneys representing low-income litigants in Los Angeles County and California, of which the v are part.
The Volunteer Program is one of only a few legal aid programs in the state that has as many volunteers devoted exclusively to helping low-income families with family law problems. The Center dedicates significant resources to recruit, train, manage and recognize volunteers who provide legal assistance to those in need. In 2009, 320 volunteer lawyers, law students and post-graduate interns contributed over 16,000 hours of legal work. The KolodnyLawGroup alone has single-handedly donated over 1000 hours to the Center in addition to funding so many of the other vital programs.
Additional information about the Center and becoming a volunteer and/or donor or participating in other meaningful ways can be found at its website, www.hbcfl.org.