Created in 1996, the Personal Crisis Assistance Program (PCAP) is designed to provide assistance to lawyers who, due to a personal crisis, face the need for temporary financial or practice assistance.
Many lawyers are finding themselves opening a law practice without any sort of “safety net” to protect them, or their clients, in times of crisis involving a lawyer’s health, family or any other personal emergency not related to the practice of law. The PCAP is intended to provide these lawyers with the “safety net” that many do not have for those times of crisis. Two examples might illustrate the types of assistance the PCA program is designed to provide:
* A lawyer’s daughter became seriously ill, which required the lawyer — who was a solo practitioner — to spend a lot of time away from work. The lawyer’s practice suffered a great deal due to this family crisis. As the lawyer’s birthday approached, he was unable to afford the registration fees for the CLE courses that were necessary to fulfill the lawyer’s minimum hours for the year. The lawyer applied for a PCAP grant to pay for the cost of needed CLEs.
* A lawyer was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Her doctors recommended that she eliminate all litigation from her practice due to the effects on her health from the stress. She applied for and received practice assistance through the PCAP program, which is helping her obtain substitute counsel in all of her litigation files.
The PCAP project involves two levels of assistance. First, limited grant funds are available to assist a lawyer who, due to a personal crisis, is unable to meet certain financial obligations. This grant Assistance is administered on a case-by-case basis by the AYLA Foundation. The second level of aid is practice assistance, in which volunteer attorneys work to assist attorneys with their professional matters during a crisis. Practice assistance is intended to operate on a short-term basis.
For more information about the PCAP, call Debbie Kelly at (512) 472-0279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org