Local lawyer gets Pro Bono Award

The Volunteer Lawyer Program of Island County has awarded the 2008 Mark Hansen Pro Bono Award to local attorney Mark Theune.

The award is bestowed each year to a lawyer who provides many hours of service to low income people in Island County, pro bono (or free of charge).

Officials with the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Island County said Theune pledged to meet with clients seeking legal advice in the program offices for at least once a month the entire year, and provide representation in court on a number of matters.

When asked by Superior Court Judge Vicki Churchill why he volunteers, Theune said “assisting people who cannot afford an attorney is often more rewarding than assisting paying clients.”

Theune said he took on one case because the client’s situation was so desperate that it made him angry that nothing was being done about it.

The Pro Bono Award was renamed in honor of Mark Hansen, the primary proponent and founder of the Volunteer Lawyer Program of Island County, when he died in 2008. Hansen believed all people, regardless of their economic circumstances, deserved fair treatment in court.

The program currently has 29 attorneys who volunteer their time and expertise to help low-income people in Island County.

For more information, call program director Christine Crowell at 360-675-4750.

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