Pro Bono Hero: Adina Pollan
Adina Pollan is a Jacksonville attorney who owns Pollan Legal, her own law practice, focusing primarily on business formation, litigation and bankruptcy issues.
Right after graduating from law school, Adina had the honor of clerking for The Honorable Jerry A. Funk at the United States Bankruptcy Court, in the Middle District of Florida. It was during that season of her legal career that she felt the calling to begin doing pro bono work. As a law clerk, she could observe first-hand the extensive number of pro se litigants that navigated through the bankruptcy courts without proper legal representation.
When Adina later started practicing with larger law firms, however, she was hamstrung, as many other lawyers at the time, as it was very hard to be able to engage in pro bono work due to potential conflicts with larger firms’ clients. But when the Jacksonville Legal Aid (“JALA”) created a waiver form informing pro se debtors of the limited legal representation and clarifying that there was no attorney-client relationship formed, . Adina, just as many other lawyers in large firms, saw that as an opportunity to start working with the JALA Pro Se Clinic several times a year at the bankruptcy court. Adina also volunteered as a matter intake attorney with JALA, and volunteered Saturday mornings during the JALA Wills Clinics.
One of the most meaningful experiences in Adina’s pro bono journey (so far) was after Hurricane Michael. After a major devastation in the Florida Panhandle area, the local legal aid office, Legal Services of North Florida, quickly got backlogged and could not accommodate the many calls, inquiries and needed support to the legal needs of the local residents. When Adina’s good friend, Alex Hill, then-president of the Jacksonville Bar Association Young Lawyers Section, rented a bus to head for the Panhandle and asked Adina to participate, Adina, while not a young lawyer, jumped at the opportunity to help. Adina and three other attorneys left their homes at the crack of dawn to make the drive to the Panhandle, and spent the entire day providing legal advice to many of the people who were affected by the hurricane and didn’t know who to turn to. Adina has shared some pictures of the event here. It was a truly rewarding experience, as Adina and the team helped almost fifty people with their various legal needs, ranging from criminal matters to medical malpractice claims to roofing disputes due to hurricane damage. In fact, it was so well received that the team stayed for 3 hours longer than they were supposed to and did not get back home until late in the evening.
Thank you, Adina for all your wonderful work and dedication. We are very proud to call you a colleague.