This month’s Volunteer Spotlight shines on Whitney Untiedt. Ms. Untiedt serves as Akerman’s Director of Pro Bono Initiatives. She supervises Akerman’s many pro bono programs and provides her firm’s attorneys with pro bono opportunities that are in line with their philanthropic focus.
Ms. Untiedt has been a steady volunteer for our Small Claims Court Clinic over the past year. Not only has she been a constant presence at the Clinic, but she has recruited her colleagues to volunteer as well. She enjoys helping the less fortunate, jokingly stating that it makes her feel like a “real lawyer.” Ms. Untiedt’s dedication to the less fortunate stretches beyond South Florida. Last year, when the Florida Supreme Court declared long term to life prison sentences for adolescents unconstitutional, she went to work to ensure that the eligible juveniles received proper legal counsel, and also devised a legal strategy to tackle the novel legal issue. Ms. Untiedt’s model led to her developing an online library, which includes free statewide training materials for public defender, criminal attorneys, and pro bono attorneys. Due to this work, other states are taking note and using her model to tackle the same issue. Based on Ms. Untiedt’s extensive pro bonowork, she was named Daily Business Review’s Attorney of the Year for 2016.
Legal Services congratulates and recognizes Ms. Untiedt’s accomplishments, as well as her hard work, support, and dedication to providing pro bono service.