4th District Pro Bono Celebration

What is the Pro Bono Celebration?

Every year Timpanogos Legal Center celebrates the work of those in Utah's 4th Judicial District who offer their services pro bono. We hold an event each year to highlight these individuals. The event celebrates the dedication of those in the area to serving their community through various means. The celebration ends with a legal clinic that offers legal advice in every area of Utah law - pro bono, of course.


Each year we award two volunteers who have gone above and beyond in providing pro bono work. A description of each award and list of winners is below.

James Backman Outstanding Attorney Pro Bono Service Award

Jim Backman retired from BYU's Law School in 2014 after 40 years of service during which time he became a nationally recognized expert in property law. Notably, he expanded the externship program into the largest program in the country, devoting himself to teaching students how to use their skills in ways that will benefit their communities.

Jim served on the Utah Legal Services Board for 8 years and served on Utah’s early “Task Force on Access to Justice," and he was the founding director of BYU's Jacobsen Center for Service and Learning. He was influential as a member of the Utah Supreme Court Committee on New Lawyer Training in developing a mentoring program for new attorneys. Jim served as a Member of the Utah Courts Committee on Resources for Self-Represented Parties, where he was very active in finding ways to serve people who could never afford to hire an attorney. When Rod Snow wanted to extend his vision of having Pro Bono Committees organized in every Judicial District in the state, it was Jim he made Co-Chair.

One of Jim’s great passions, probably what he would consider to be the capstone to his long career that has served so many, has been his collaboration with other attorneys and agencies in creating the Timpanogos Legal Center which is our local charitable organization dedicated to training and supporting attorneys in providing pro bono work for the poor. He served on the Board of TLC at its inception.

Most importantly, Jim served the individual by taking pro bono cases. He continued to serve for many years at the Regional Clinic at South Valley Sanctuary and the weekly legal advice clinic hosted by Timpanogos Legal Center. This award is given in Jim's name to honor his deep commitment to providing pro bono work to those who needed it most.

Past Awardees

2023: Nancy van Slooten
2022: Steve Averett
2019: Brandon Merrill
2018: Linda Barclay
2017: Kate Barber
2016: William Jeffs
2015: Charles Bradford Carlston
2014: James Backman
2013: Dorothy S. Gillespie

Debbi Myers Outstanding Community Service Award

In 2009, Ford & Huff sought to expand the reach of pro bono legal services in Utah County, and joined with others of like mind. Debbi stepped into the role of Pro Bono Coordinator at Ford & Huff with compassion, organization, and persistence. She reviewed hundreds of pro bono applications to determine who qualified for free or reduced fee legal services.

She gently but firmly followed up with attorneys who might otherwise have let cases slip through the cracks, recognizing the importance of each individual case as well as the heavy workloads of each attorney. She tirelessly organized and promoted Ford & Huff's free legal clinics, encouraging the participation of attorneys and made sure the local community was informed. She did the behind the scenes work that allowed the whole operation to function and flourish.

As the Utah County Pro Bono and Low Bono vision expanded, Debbi gracefully transitioned from Ford & Huff to a larger stage to assist the Central Utah Pro Bono Initiative and eventually became the Pro Bono Coordinator for TLC.

Debbi always went above and beyond in finding ways to serve.  She listened with compassion to each client, befriended attorneys and encouraged everyone she met to participate with us in our endeavors to provide legal services to those in need.  She had a unique ability to get attorneys to say “yes” to taking just one more pro bono case. This award is given in Debbi's name to honor her persistent efforts at working to develop programs to help those in need.

Past Awardees

2023: BreAnn Wilkes
2022: Lindsey Brandt
2019: Paul Waldron & Trent Cahill
2018: Cindy & Buddy Richards
2017: Maria Blanchard
2016: Choice Legal Services
2015: Eva Brady
2014: Micah Rees
2013: Debbi Myers

One-Time Awards

In 2022, we presented Camille Buhman with the Fourth District Pro Bono Committee's Outstanding Achievement Award to honor the work she did for one of her clients that went above and beyond what anyone expected. Camille dedicated hundreds of hours to a pro bono client because she was able to see how grave the situation was and knew that, with her expertise, this client and their family would have the opportunity to be fully heard in court. Due to her persistence over several years, she was able to reunite her client with her children, receive a favorable court order, help her client establish stability, and ensure that they had legal protections to keep them safe.

© 2024 Timpanogos Legal Center. All rights reserved.

This project was supported in part by the Utah Office for Victims of Crime, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of Timpanogos Legal Center and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Justice or the Utah Office for Victims of Crime.

This project was supported in part by the Utah Office for Victims of Crime, awarded by the State of Utah. The opinions, findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this publication are those of Timpanogos Legal Center and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Utah Office for Victims of Crime or the Utah Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice.