The recipients for the award for December, 2010 are the attorneys of Norman D. Levin, P.A. – Norman D. Levin, Esq., Amy C. Hamlin, Esq., and Matthew B. Capstraw, Esq.
Brief descriptions of the pro bono services of the firm, the volunteer work of the attorneys, collectively, and of each attorney, individually, appear below. Congratulations to each of you, and thank you for your past and continued efforts on behalf of the children and families of Florida.
The attorneys of Norman D. Levin, P.A., not only serve the underserved and disadvantaged by regularly providing pro bono service to indigent clients through their local legal aid office, but they mentor young attorneys and have also helped establish an ongoing brief assistance or clinic based program on site at the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society. The program provides immediate advice and brief assistance to economically disadvantaged individuals two mornings a week at the Legal Aid Society office. Each of the attorneys of the firm has committed one morning each month to participate in this important project. Clients of the program receive immediate legal advice regarding dissolution of marriage, paternity, child support issues, modification of child support, timesharing, relocation, enforcement, and other valuable information necessary to understand and to navigate the judicial system and to protect and safeguard their children. The attorneys of Norman D. Levin, P.A. have currently rendered assistance to over two hundred and forty indigent clients in their community since the project began.
Norman D. Levin, Esq.
Mr. Levin was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1976 and has been Board Certified in Marital and Family Law since 1990. He is currently a Fellow in the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, and is an accomplished author and lecturer. Mr. Levin has not only dedicated substantial amounts of time to the Legal Aid Society of Seminole County, but to other organizations involving the legal community, demonstrating his commitment not only to the poor and underserved but also to the legal community at large through his voluntary efforts.
Early in his career, Mr. Levin was actively involved in working with and improving the legal system. Mr. Levin actively participated in the Seminole County Juvenile Arbitration Program, serving as the Assistant program Director from October, 1978 through September, 1980. He served on the Seminole County Juvenile Arbitration Task Force, and he served as Chairman, from March 1978 through September, 1980. Early in his career, he served the State of Florida both as a Public Defender and as a State Attorney, and he has not only served his local bar, but the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar as well.
In his service to the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar, he devoted countless hours in his work with the Technology, Support Issues, and Continuing Legal Education committees as well as in his leadership of the Section as a member of the Executive Council for almost 10 years. He also served the Family Law Section in his roles as the Section Chair from 2001 through 2002, Immediate Past Chair from 2002 through 2003, Chair Elect from 2000-2001, Treasurer from 1999-2000, Secretary from 1998-1999 and Family Law Section Trustee from 2003 through 2005.
Finally, Mr. Levin was honored and recognized for his exceptional pro bono work, receiving the Florida Supreme Court Pro Bono Service Awards from 1997 to 2000, and again in 2002.
Amy C. Hamlin, Esq.
Ms. Hamlin was admitted to practice law in the State of Florida in 2000. She has been employed by Norman D. Levin, P.A. for the past seven years, and her practice is limited to marital and family law matters. Prior to joining Norman D. Levin, P.A., Ms. Hamlin served as a staff attorney for the Greater Orlando Area Legal Services and as Managing Attorney for the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc. representing indigent clients on a full-time basis. Even after her move to private practice, however, she continued to support and to assist the underserved and disadvantaged, dedicating numerous hours of her time to the pro bono representation of indigent clients. In recognition of the time she spent on providing assistance to indigent clients free of charge, she received the Seminole County Legal Aid Society Pro Bono Award for 2004, 2005 and 2006 and the 2008 Florida Bar President’s Circuit Pro Bono Award.
In addition to her responsibilities as an attorney with the firm of Norman D. Levin, P.A. and the numerous hours dedicated to the representation of indigent clients through the Legal Aid Society of Seminole County, Ms. Hamlin is also actively involved in the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. She has been an active member of the Support Issues, Sponsorship, Rules and Forms, Publications, Equitable Distribution and Legislative committees of the Section and has served as Vice Chair of the Sponsorship Committee, Co-Secretary of the Continuing Legal Education Committee, and Associate Editor of the Office Management Edition of The Commentator. She is also in her second term on Executive Council for the Section.
Matthew Capstraw, Esq.
Even before Mr. Capstraw was admitted to practice law he demonstrated his willingness to assist the indigent by acting as a Certified Legal Intern at Legal Aid Services of Broward County. After his admittance to the bar, in 1998, he continued his commitment to the poor and underserved by becoming a Staff Attorney at the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc., where he spent almost three years before he joined Norman D. Levin P.A. in 2001. After his move to private practice, he continued to assist and support the indigent and to assist the needy through pro bono work and his community involvement. He served on the Salvation Army Family Focus Program Advisory Board, first as a member, and then as President for two separate terms in 2001 and, again, in 2005. He has been a member of the YANA Project Advisory Board, and he received the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children Award of Merit in November of 2003.
Finally, in addition to his work as an attorney with the firm of Norman D. Levin, P.A. and his community commitments, he has lead the Seminole County Bar Associate Family Law Section as Secretary, Vice President and President. He has also dedicated numerous hours to better the law for Florida’s families through his work on behalf of the Family Law Section of the Florida Bar. He has dedicated countless hours in his work with the Rules and Forms, Legislative, and Domestic Violence Committees, serving as Secretary of the Legislative Committee in 2008 and the Secretary and Co-Chair of the Rules and Forms Committee in 2007 and 2009, respectively. Ultimately, he received the Chair’s Special Award of Merit for 2008 and 2009 for his work on behalf of the Section.