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Attorney Thomas J. Methvin Elected Ala. State Bar President; Agenda Emphasizes Increasing Access to Justice for the Poor

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Montgomery, Ala., July 17, 2009 – Thomas J. Methvin, managing shareholder of the Montgomery law firm of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, P.C., is the 133rd president of the Alabama State Bar for the bar year 2009-10.

As president, Methvin will serve as head of the 16,000-member organization. Key initiatives for his term in office will include increasing funding for Access to Justice with the goal of ensuring the legal needs of people living in poverty are adequately met, increasing participation in the Bar's Volunteer Lawyers Program, and overseeing Alabama's participation in the first-ever celebration of National Pro Bono Week.

"Our goal is to make access to justice in Alabama a priority like it is in other states," Methvin said. "It's going to take all of us, working together, to accomplish this. We currently rank last in funding in this area, even behind Puerto Rico. It is our opportunity, and our responsibility, to be a part of making Alabama a leader in ensuring true access to justice for all."

Methvin was born in Eufaula in 1963. He received his undergraduate degree in corporate finance from the Univ. of Alabama (1985) and earned his law degree from Cumberland School of Law (1988). His family has been involved in the practice of law in Alabama for more than 200 years, and both of his grandfathers were lawyers. He always knew he wanted to be an attorney.

During the past year, as president-elect, Methvin was responsible for planning, organizing and implementing the ASB Task Force on Mortgage Foreclosure Assistance. Under his direction this project provided free legal counsel to any homeowner in the state facing foreclosure, regardless of income.

Methvin began his legal career at Beasley Allen in 1988 representing victims of consumer fraud.

His professional affiliations include: serving on the state bar's Board of Bar Commissioners for nine years (its decision and policy-making body), the Executive Council for two years and as vice president in 2005; induction as a Fellow in the Alabama Law Foundation, the state bar's charitable and philanthropic arm; president of the Montgomery Cumberland Law School Club, and a member of the finance committee for the Access to Justice Commission, formed by Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb to find new ways to provide access to justice for the poor in Alabama.

He is a former president of both the Montgomery County Bar Association and the Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association. He serves on the Executive Committee of the Alabama Association for Justice. Methvin is the 23rd lawyer from Montgomery to serve as president.

An active member of the community, Methvin serves as president of the Board of Directors of Brantwood Children's Home, a home for abused and neglected children; and is on the Board of Let God Arise Ministries, a prison ministry; and the Cystic Fibrosis Advisory Panel.

The Alabama State Bar is dedicated to promoting the professional responsibility and competence of its members, improving the administration of justice and increasing public understanding and respect for the law.

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