The Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division E-Newsletter
April eNewsletter Article
Andrew Boyer: A spotlight on spectacular service
By Hunter W. Carroll
“Pro bono, it is just the right thing to do,” says Sarasota attorney Andrew Boyer. This 2006 Stetson law school graduate has logged several hundreds of hours, generally helping indigent and low-income families navigate the complexities of guardianship, probate, and public benefit issues. Boyer, married and a father of two children, received the pro bono pin last year for performing more than 100 hours of dedicated service. He was also nominated for the YLD Pro Bono Award.
In the past three years, Boyer personally has handled approximately a dozen guardianship cases referred to him by the Legal Aid of Manasota, Inc. Linda Harradine, the Executive Director of that organization, recalls particularly one of those cases, <<<<REDACTED>>>> because Mr. Boyer cared enough to take their case,” says Harradine. Boyer continually takes these referrals “with full knowledge of how many hours they consume and the fact that these cases often remain open for many years.” We should all be inspired by Boyer’s dedication.
“Doing well while doing good” is a motto Boyer lives by. He believes that you can give back and help those less fortunate while at the same time balance an active, successful practice and family life. He also believes that the emotional payment when a pro bono client says, “thank you,” after having turned a bad situation into a good situation sometimes is worth more than the money obtaining from a paying client
Boyer learned the importance of pro bono at any early age from his father. Boyer recalls attending a Florida Supreme Court Ceremonial Session when he was 10 with his father who was being honored by the Court for his exemplary pro bono service. The justices allowed Boyer to sit on their bench! During that trip, Boyer’s father explained the importance of helping others, especially when they cannot help themselves. Boyer did not forget this life lesson. Today, he practices with his father and two other attorneys at Boyer & Jackson, P.A., which firm has a tradition of pro bono service.
In addition to accepting cases through Legal Aid of Manasota, he is a leader in the local legal community, emphasizing the importance of pro bono service. Last year, he co-chaired the Manatee Young Lawyers’ project, “Wills for Heroes,” with Manatee YLD member Dana Laganella Gerling. This worthwhile program involved young lawyers in Manatee County writing wills for first responders in the area. Boyer personally checked each will that the volunteer lawyers wrote, ensuring that each was accurate in both form and substance. According to Manatee YLD President Fred Moore, “because of Andy’s substantial efforts at the two Wills for Heroes events, in the past two years, approximately 170 of Manatee County’s first responders and their spouses have been provided wills.” That Manatee YLD project recently spread to the Sarasota YLD, with a slightly different focus. The Sarasota YLD’s “Helping Hands” program, which Boyer was instrumental in bringing to Sarasota, focuses on providing wills and health care directives to employees of the area’s non-profit organizations. Burt Romanoff, President of the Sarasota YLD, said: “the legal communities of Sarasota and Manatee Counties are richer as a result of the selfless work of Andrew Boyer.”
In addition to his passion for pro bono, Boyer serves on the Manatee YLD Board of Directors and serves as Treasurer of the Manatee Aging Network. He is also affiliated with several professional organizations and volunteers with the Florida Supreme Court’s Justice Teaching Project.
Boyer is an inspiration to all attorneys. We should all strive to model ourselves after Boyer’s dedication to pro bono.