James Hoyer Associate Receives Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award

With family and friends looking on proudly, James Hoyer Law Firm Associate Jillian Estes was honored with this year’s Outstanding Pro Bono Service by a Young Lawyer Award in Florida’s Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. Jillian accepted the award on April 26th, 2012 at the Chester Ferguson Law Center in Tampa.

“I want to (say) thank you very much to the committee for this honor. It’s very humbling to say the least,” Jillian said as she addressed the crowd after accepting the award from Judge James Barton, but one very special guest couldn’t hold back his excitement at that very moment.  Jillian’s 22-month old son Kingston beamed and called out “Ma Ma,” just after Jillian began to speak. Click on the video below to watch Jillian accept the award and see the priceless interruption by her number one fan.

In presenting the award to Jillian, Judge Barton commended her for her tireless hours of Pro Bono Service and the “give back” philosophy promoted by the James Hoyer Law Firm.  Click on the video below to watch his remarks.

Jillian was honored with the award for her many hours of Pro Bono service, most notably for successfully representing a father from Denmark in a parental abduction case involving his eight year old daughter. The child was wrongfully retained in Florida in violation of the Hague Convention, an international treaty which requires that children must be returned to their home country to settle custody disputes.  Father and daughter were  reunited and have now returned to Denmark.

The father wrote in support of Jillian, “I think Jill Estes should receive the award not only based on her legal skills and professionalism, but indeed also for the dedication and for her empathic and warm qualities which helped me through this whole ordeal.”

Before going to law school, Jillian worked in the International Division of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia.  “I’m incredibly honored to be recognized for this work which is very near and dear to my heart,” she said. “It was working with the families of abducted children that inspired me to go to law school, and now, it is my privilege to give back and help when I can.”

Please join us in congratulating Jillian for this honor.

Jillian & family after award ceremony