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Oklahoma Lawyers Making Equal Justice for all a Reality


Legal Aid Names Outstanding Pro Bono Oklahoma Attorneys of 2016

Tuesday, November 01, 2016

  • Margaret Shinn
  • Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc.

At the Oklahoma Bar Association's Annual Meeting, on November 3, 2016, Legal Aid hosted a reception to thank its many volunteer lawyers. Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma announced the Oklahoma Outstanding Pro Bono Attorneys of 2016:

Roni Lee Clark, Hall Estill

When it comes to volunteers, Roni Lee Clark, a paralegal at Hall Estill, is the best of the best.  She became a volunteer for Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma in 2007.  Since then she has assisted dozens of Legal Aid clients in the preparation of estate planning documents and deeds, and helped with guardianships and probate proceedings.

“As soon as she finishes with one client, she takes on another,” said Karen Langdon, Tulsa’s Pro Bono Coordinator.  Roni has been trained and appointed as a Guardian Ad Litem by Judge Bitting in Tulsa County’s guardianship cases.  Through Legal Aid’s GAL program, she helps guardians prepare their annual reports.  She has assisted more guardians than any other GAL volunteer.

A native of New York, Roni pursued her paralegal studies at Corning Community College.   She has been a practicing paralegal for over 33 years.  In her position at Hall Estill, Roni assists attorneys and clients in the areas of Real Estate and Corporate/Commercials matters, as well as Trusts & Estate, Probates and Estate Taxes.

Pat Layden, Pat Layden Law Firm, P.C.

Mr. Layden is a 3rd generation attorney, and has been practicing law in McAlester, Oklahoma, for 28 years. He attended college at the University of Oklahoma, where he earned his Bachelor's Degree and attended Law School at the Oklahoma City University, where he earned his Law Degree.  Mr. Layden is a member of the Pittsburg County Bar Association and the Oklahoma Bar Association, and has been active in both Associations throughout his career.

Pat Layden, a private practitioner in McAlester, Oklahoma, has volunteered many hours to promote equal access to justice in Oklahoma. He served Legal Aid Services of Oklahoma, Inc. as Board member and past President of the Board and as a pro bono attorney. Mr. Layden has always been a great resource for the staff of the McAlester LASO office, giving advice and providing sample pleadings. He always stands ready to assist, always answers our phone calls for help, and provides great encouragement to us at all times. Pat Layden puts into action the ideals of pro bono lawyering.

David Miley, Oklahoma Department of Transportation

On the 3rd Saturday of every month, volunteer attorneys, volunteer legal secretaries and Legal Aid staff, participate in an outreach clinic providing free legal advice to poor people and senior citizens at Sunbeam Family Services in Oklahoma City. David Miley has been a faith volunteer for the 3rd Saturday Legal Clinic for about fifteen years, and has volunteered approximately 500 hours during that time. While David's employment restricts his ability to accept pro bono referrals for full representation, he has found an avenue which allows him to give back to the community and to fulfill his ethical obligations by providing legal advice and guidance to participants of the clinic.
David is kind and extremely patient with every clinic participant that he has helped. David spends as much time as the participant needs to talk out their situation, which many times has just as much to do with life advice as it does legal advice. David's years of volunteer service to the community at the clinic is a great example to which each and every lawyer should aspire. His volunteer service has benefited not only the hundreds of people he has helped over the years, but his contact with so many people has no doubt impacted the reputation and perception of lawyers in a positive way. Everyone who speaks with David will remember the kind lawyer who helped them.

Judge  Duane Woodliff, Retired, Okmulgee County

Judge Woodliff, Duane to those who know him as a friend, started as a lawyer in 1966 and has spent a lifetime serving his community.  The University of Oklahoma graduate first spent four years with the Army Judge Advocate Corps (JAG). He returned to his hometown of Henryetta in 1970 joining his father, Kirk Woodliff, in private practice.
Duane served as president of the Henryetta Chamber of Commerce, a member of the Lions Club, Medical Foundation and the Henryetta Education Foundation which he helped start.  For his efforts, he was named Henryettan of the Year and received the Outstanding Community Service Award from the VFW. First elected Special District Judge, he was elected as Association District Judge in 2007.  He established Drug Court, Anna McBride Mental Health Court and Family Drug Treatment Court in Okmulgee County. Duane and his wife Eloise are the parents of three children and eight grandchildren. Since retirement, the couple moved to Edmond where the grandchildren reside.
Retirement did not keep him down long. His community service spirit led Duane to Legal Services of Oklahoma in March of 2015. He began working in the Oklahoma City office 2-3 days per week and assisted with multiple will drafting workshops. During his time in OKC, Duane volunteered 265 hours and assisted nearly 100 senior citizens with wills and estates, guardianships, consumer, and varying other issues.


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