Joy Fossel Honored as 2010 Mike Barnes Award Recipient
A partner with the Varnum Law firm who has volunteered more than 1500 hours of her time through Legal Aid's Pro Bono Program was the honored guest at the annual event at the BOB on October 28.
LAWM Executive Director Mike Chielens with honoree Joy Fossel and Pro Bono staff Lacy Cook and Paul Abrahamsen
The Mike Barnes award, created in honor of Mike Barnes--a former Board President and partner at Smith Haughey who had an extraordinary commitment to providing legal help to those in need during his lifetime--is presented annually to a lawyer whose contribution of time continues that spirit.
According to Pro Bono Program director Paul Abrahamsen, the choice of Joy Fossel was a "no-brainer" given her extraordinary work over the years. She doesn't just take the easy cases. She recently closed a case in federal court in which she ex-husband of a domestic violence survivor sued the woman, police, Courts, and others, providing nearly 900 hours of free legal help. But for Fossel's willingness to donate her time, the woman would have incurred legal bills of nearly a quarter of a million dollars and probably would not have achieved the favorable results. "That's the big one, but Joy has been there for years willing to take on the "challenging" case."
Read more about Joy Fossel and this event in the Grand Rapids Press: