by Heather Cline Hoganson and members of the SLF board
Spirits were high at this year’s Party for a Cause. The SCBA’s Pro Bono Committee, with Chief Justice Tani G. Cantil-Sakauye in the house, honored two volunteers for service, and the Sacramento Law Foundation (SLF) presented its first Access to Justice Scholarship.
Patrick Ting, Supervising Attorney for the Senior Legal Hotline, presented one pro bono award to Duane Phillips. Phillips described his motivation for pro bono work, including the “terror” in the voices of seniors who are being evicted or faced with other legal issues that they do not understand, but which the Senior Legal Hotline’s volunteer attorneys can assist.
Pro Bono awardee Ron Blubaugh’s original response to cutbacks in funding that would have disallowed the legal clinic at Loaves & Fishes from assisting with criminal issues of the homeless was, “if not us, then who will help?” Deputy Director Amy Williams, of Legal Services of Northern California, presented Blubagh’s award and noted that scores of clients knew him as the ubiquitous “Ron” due to his legal and non-legal service at Loaves & Fishes.
Many are familiar with SLF and its history of providing grants to organizations in the Sacramento region to fulfill its mission of improving the administration of justice, enhancing public confidence in the legal profession, cultivating understanding of and respect for the rule of law, and supporting law-related public services. In addition to grants, SLF has created an Access to Justice Scholarship. SLF Vice President Michael Levy introduced the second half of the program, explaining how Access to Justice was the centerpiece and legacy of Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye’s tenure. On presenting the first scholarship by the SLF, the Chief Justice remarked that scholarship recipient, UC Davis third year law student Kaly Livingston Rule, has “such a big heart in such a small person,” that she has already championed the rights of the LGBT and transgender communities, and worked with the incarcerated. The SLF looks forward to hearing about the wonderful work Kaly does in the future.