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April 18, 2019 | Community| Suzanne DeCopain - Empowering Citizens Through Education

Associate Suzanne DeCopain believes in giving back to her community. One organization that has impacted her life is George Edgecomb Bar Association (GEBA), an organization that breaks barriers and empowers citizens of the Tampa community through the legal system.

On May 4, 2019 at the North Tampa Branch Library, GEBA is partnering with the Federal Bar Association and Bay Area Legal Service Inc. to host its annual “Learn Your Legal Rights” community workshop. Suzanne is the event organizer and GEBA Legal Redress chair for this annual event.

 “We want to give the community access to legal information in a way that is comfortable and easy for people to ask questions,” said Suzanne.

Suzanne has been a member of GEBA for six years, five of which have been spent in leadership positions. In connection with her role as Redress Chair, Suzanne makes it her responsibility to provide community members with the legal knowledge to improve their conditions as citizens, through educational workshops.

“Knowing that there is a dire need out there to help people navigate through the legal system, and to witness my friends and colleagues provide the guidance to the community makes me feel like I’m truly giving back,” says Suzanne.

The “Learn Your Legal Rights” workshop is free and available to all community members. This year GEBA is reintroducing classroom sessions which allow lawyers to discuss topics of law. Volunteer attorneys will hold one-hour sessions, where members of the community can learn general information on legal topics like family, criminal and immigrant law. Over 20 attorneys and judges have offered their services for free in 2019.

To provide further support, 15 minute one-on-one sessions will be offered throughout the day for individuals to ask attorneys specific questions that might not have been discussed during sessions. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided to those that attend. Pre-qualifying is not necessary to register or attend.

GEBA has organized the “Learn Your Legal Rights” workshop for more than a decade. In the hopes of being a benefit to her community, Suzanne DeCopain took the position as the Legal Redress Chair in 2016. She has dedicated herself to planning and marketing GEBA’s annual volunteer effort and workshop for the past three years. In 2018 GEBA received the Voluntary Bar Association Pro Bono Award in recognition of its contribution of almost 2,000 hours to its outreach program from 2004 through 2017.

The George Edgecomb Bar Association is Tampa’s largest predominately African-American voluntary bar association. Founded in 1982, in memory of the late Honorable George E. Edgecomb, the George Edgecomb Bar Association is dedicated to the promotion and recognition of African Americans within the legal profession and the judiciary.

Suzanne DeCopain | ASSOCIATE

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