Actor Will Smith said, “If you’re not making someone else’s life better, then you’re wasting your time. Your life will become better by making other lives better.”
Prosecutor Mark Lindquist and his Chief of Staff Dawn Farina have received Special Pro Bono Leadership Awards from the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Foundation. The awards were recently presented for their vision and dedication in facilitating the creation of the new Native American Legal Aid Program which helps meet the need for legal services for Puyallup tribal members and the urban Indian population in Pierce County.
In early 2017, the Puyallup Tribe made a generous grant of $200,000 to the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Foundation. The unrestricted donation and unprecedented funding and partnership made this legal aid program possible.
This grant also allows for the continuation of important Pierce County Volunteer Legal Services programs that would otherwise have lost funding, including the Housing Justice Project, a homeless prevention program.
Lindquist, always a supporter of the Volunteer Legal Services Program and the Bar Foundation, collaborated with the Puyallup Tribe, which ultimately resulted in the donation and partnership.
“The Puyallup Tribe exemplifies good citizenship,” said Lindquist. I appreciate their commitment to our community and the respectful relationship we’ve developed.”
Chief of Staff Farina, a former Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association President and Bar Foundation board member, stayed with the board for more than a year beyond her term to help facilitate the agreement with the Tribe. Her dedication and perseverance were essential in making this project work.
“This program helps to ensure that fair and equal access to justice is available to everyone in our community,” said Farina.
“The donation from the Puyallup Tribe is so important because it supports our program’s regular legal clinics and much-needed community legal aid programs specifically focused on the unique needs of Native Americans,” said VLS Program Director Laurie Davenport. “It simply would not have happened without the efforts of Lindquist and Farina.”
Lindquist said, “We are honored to have played a role in this worthy project, which is consistent with our mission of public service and public safety.”