In 1994, Andrew R. Boyer traveled with his father and mother to Tallahassee where Edwin Boyer received the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for his work in the 12th Judicial Circuit. Andrew patiently sat through the ceremony, and afterward the Supreme Court justices let him sit on the bench. The experience made an impression. Today, he is the recipient of the same honor for his pro bono service.
Because everyone in the office contributes to these efforts, nearly all the staff was on hand this time as Andrew accepted this award. They rented a van, drove to Tallahassee, and stayed overnight enjoying a great meal in celebration. This time, his six year old daughter patiently sat through the ceremony and then met Supreme Court Justices. Maybe she will earn the same award in a few years.
Andrew was admitted to The Florida Bar in 2007 and has been volunteering for Legal Aid of Manasota since 2008. Since that time, he has donated more than 330 hours of pro bono service, taking on everything from the drafting of countless wills and advance directives for elderly clients and terminally ill patients to complex guardianship cases.
Andrew’s volunteerism extends beyond the courtroom. Working with the Young Lawyers Organization of Manatee County, he was instrumental in organizing Florida’s first “Wills for Heroes” event in 2010. He and other young attorneys, trained volunteer attorneys, drafted forms and acted as troubleshooters at the event, which provided free wills for first responders, including police, deputies, firefighters and paramedics.
“Wills for Heroes” inspired “Wills for Helping Hands,” also organized with Andrew’s help, which offered free wills to the front-line staff of nonprofit organizations, including case workers and receptionists. More than 300 wills were prepared at these events.
Each year, the Florida Bar recognizes lawyers in each of Florida’s 20 judicial circuits for their work on behalf of poor and indigent clients. Established in 1981, The Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Awards are intended to encourage lawyers to volunteer free legal services to the poor and to raise public awareness of the substantial volunteer services provided by Florida lawyers to those who cannot afford legal fees. In the most recent 12 months reported, Florida lawyers provided nearly 1.9 million hours of pro bono services to those in need and gave $4.9 million to legal aid organizations.