The Minnesota State Bar Association’s new SOLACE program is a way for the legal community to reach out in small but meaningful and compassionate ways to judges, lawyers, court personnel, support staff, and their families who experience some personal tragedy or unexpected misfortune. The program is open to assist members and nonmembers.
SOLACE stands for “Support of Lawyers/Legal Personnel – All Concern Encouraged.” Examples of assistance in other state’s SOLACE programs include donating gift cards, meals, or rare blood types; helping in the home, running errands, or facilitating child care; offering transportation support-including donating frequent flier miles to enable travel for medical treatments or to bring distant loved ones together; and installing a wheelchair ramp in a home. Assistance may be as diverse as the individual’s needs and volunteers’ abilities allow.
When a legal professional is in need or knows someone in need in the legal industry, a single email starts a chain of events. The program committee ensures the call for support fits within the parameters of the SOLACE program. Assuming it does, the request is shared with members and connects a volunteer committee member or interested volunteer with the person in need. SOLACE is not a prayer group and does not solicit monetary contributions. SOLACE is dedicated to action in times of need and seeks only direct assistance or donations in kind.