Monday, May 4, 2009

Pro Bono Lawyer Gets Award For Good Deeds

We all know legal advice can cost an arm and a leg, but the Director of the New Jersey branch of Pro Bono Partnership and Chester resident, Nancy Eberhardt, is offering her clients something a little different—a helping hand.

“People can’t really believe that they can get a free lawyer,” Eberhardt says, who recently won the Abe S. Berliner Community Service Award from HomeCare Options on April 23rd for her noble deeds at the Pro Bono Partnership.

“I was really honored and surprised [when I got the award,]” says Eberhardt, who wasn’t at first sure why she got it since she feels that she’s just doing her public service to the community, “In the end, I was like, this is my job [and I really didn’t know why I was being awarded for it].”

One person who wasn’t at all surprised though was HomeCare Options Executive Director, Ken Wessel, who has gotten legal advice from Eberhardt in the past.

“We wanted to thank her for her legal assistance and also wanted other non-profits to know about what she did,” says Wessel, who is trying to get the word out there about how beneficial Pro Bono Partnership can be, “We were really killing two birds with one stone.”

The Prop Bono Partnership, which Eberhardt has been working for for almost six years now, is a tax-exempt charity that provides free legal assistance to public charities in the tri-state area.

“If we take somebody on as a client,” Eberhardt says, “It’s somebody who can’t afford a lawyer.”

Helping others in need isn’t anything new for Eberhardt, though, as she has always wanted to help out the little guy, ever since she was back in law school.

“I was thinking of doing criminal law in the beginning, but then I started doing environmental law,” says Eberhardt, “It was interesting, but when I started working with children and small organization projects, I started getting more excited.”

And she’s kept that excitement up, working with soup kitchens, battered women services, United Ways, and anybody else in desperate need of legal advice and lawyers but lacking the funds to pay for it.

“It’s great making the smaller organizations feel stronger,” Eberhardt says.

To find out more about Pro Bono Partnership, check out their website at To find out more about HomeCare Options, visit their website at

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