Domestic Diversions

Legal Aid of Western Michigan Honored David C. Sarnacki with its 2023 Michael S. Barnes Pro Bono Award

Legal Aid of Western Michigan awarded attorney David C. Sarnacki of The Sarnacki Law Firm the 2023 Michael S. Barnes Award. Over the decades, Sarnacki contributed nearly 800 hours on cases which he accepted from LAWM’s pro bono program, provided monetary support, and worked to support LAWM’s mission: “We protect rights, challenge injustice, and fight poverty through free legal advocacy for people and families.”

LAWM’s Executive Director Pamela Hoekwater stated: “One mark of an excellent pro bono volunteer is their willingness to take difficult…cases which offer no promise of a fast or simple resolution. Without questions or hesitancy, Dave has taken cases and offered top-notch representation to clients who felt powerless and vulnerable, and he gave those clients a strong voice.”

The 2023 award was part of a pro bono celebration on October 26, 2023 at the City Flats Hotel’s ballroom. Program speakers celebrating with David Sarnacki included attorneys Pamela Hoekwater, Thomas McCarthy, Diann Landers, and Marshall teacher Mary McCafferty Douglass.

The Michael S. Barnes Award recognizes an attorney or law firm for making significant pro bono contributions which benefit legal aid clients. Michael S. Barnes, a partner with the law firm Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge, was a dominant force in providing legal aid and pro bono service to LAWM’s client communities.

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