PLANTATION, Fla., June 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Florida Bar Foundation has announced that Anthony J. (Tony) Karrat, Esq. executive director of Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Legal Aid Service of Collier County, will receive the 2021 Jane Elizabeth Curran Distinguished Service Award during the Foundation’s Virtual Award Ceremony on June 17.

The prestigious award recognizes Karrat’s more than four decades of ensuring low-income communities have access to the judicial system. It also acknowledges his strong and steady leadership, professionalism, and integrity leading the charge for those individuals and families who would otherwise have no voice and no access to the judicial system.

“It is truly an honor to receive such a prestigious award from an organization that has provided tremendous support to the legal community for so many years,” said Tony Karrat, Executive Director of Legal Aid Service of Broward County. “It is especially meaningful to receive an award named for Jane Curran who pioneered the Interest on Trust Account (LITC) Program in Florida and throughout the United States. IOTA funds have made civil legal services available to hundreds of thousands across the country.”

Legal Aid Service of Broward County is a non-profit organization founded in 1973 that provides free legal services to under-privileged residents of Broward County. Tony Karrat has been with the organization for 46 years and has more than 50 years of legal experience as an attorney.  As Executive Director, Karrat has been responsible for overseeing all program operations in both Broward and Collier Counties.

Karrat joined Legal Aid Service of Broward County in 1975 as a branch office supervising attorney prior to being named Executive Director in 1976.  Under his direction, Legal Aid has grown from a three-attorney office with a $250,000 budget to a regional law firm of 73 attorneys with a budget of $12 million. During these years, the program has had a significant impact on the low-income community of Broward County in areas as diverse as housing conditions for the poor to protecting victims of domestic violence, to helping the homeless, elderly, children and people living with HIV/AIDS.

In 1981, he led the development and creation of Broward Lawyers Care (BLC) which is a pro bono project administered by Legal Aid and enables over 1,230 private attorneys to donate services to the poor each year.  Today, BLC is the recognized pro bono program for Broward County. In 2011, the BLC Advice and Counsel Hotline was established to provide telephone advice and counsel. In 2012, Karrat led the creation of a special project to provide pro bono representation to veterans and their families through United Way of Broward County’s MISSION UNITED. More than 4,240 Broward lawyers have participated in BLC and roughly 18,450 clients/families have received legal assistance during the past 36 years.

Karrat is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and the George Washington University Law Center.

In light of the ongoing pandemic, the Foundation’s award ceremony will be held virtually on June 17, 2020 at 12 p.m. Registration is open now at https://thefloridabarfoundation.org/annual-dinner/.

CONTACT: Aimee Adler Cooke 561-302-6902 (or)
[email protected] 

SOURCE Legal Aid Service of Broward County