Wyoming State Bar Launches SOLACE Program

The Wyoming State Bar is pleased to announce that it will join other bar associations around the country to launch a SOLACE program to assist those in the legal community who experience deaths, sicknesses, injuries or other catastrophic events.

SOLACE is an acronym that stands for “Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel – All Concern Encouraged.” The SOLACE program began in 2002 in Louisiana. It was the brain child of New Orleans attorney Mark C. Surprenant and U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey who remain actively involved not only with the day-to-day operations of the program in Louisiana, but also with efforts to expand it in other states throughout the country.

The sole purpose of the program is to allow the legal community to reach out in meaningful and compassionate ways to judges, lawyers, court personnel, paralegals, legal secretaries and their families who experience deaths or other catastrophic illnesses, sickness or injury.

“The way the program works is simple, but the effects can be significant,” said Kara Brighton, an attorney from Cheyenne who is volunteering as the SOLACE Program Coordinator.

As soon as Brighton learns of a tragedy occurring to someone in the legal community, she will work with the person who reported the tragedy, along with friends of the family, to determine what would be the most appropriate expression of support and concern. That can range from simply sending the family a card to providing the family with meals, needed support, assistance with grocery shopping or child care, or other similar services.

“The beauty of the program is most everything can be accomplished through e-mail and at no charge,” said Brighton.

The name of the individual/family needing assistance can and often does remain confidential, but it doesn’t have to. It is up to the individual/family.

If you are aware of anyone in the Wyoming legal community (lawyers, law office personnel, judges, courthouse employees or law students) who suffers a sudden, catastrophic loss due to an unexpected event, illness or injury, the SOLACE Program can likely assist in a meaningful way. Please contact Kara Brighton at solace@wyomingbar.org.

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