April 08, 2003 11:00 pm

Legal Aid Services of Oregon and the Union County Bar Association have presented two La Grande attorneys with an award for time in volunteering their services in the county.

Attorneys Cory Larvik and David Baum were recognized for their pro bono services to low-income residents.

The presentation called attention to the state bar's aspirational standard for volunteerism, in hopes of encouraging additional attorneys to volunteer their services to those in need.

"During these hard times, we especially want the public to be aware that attorneys embrace the spirit of volunteerism while also encouraging other attorneys to do so," said Arron Guevara of Legal Aide Services off Oregon.

Larvik and Baum have both contributed a significant number of volunteer hours in providing access to justice to low-income Oregonians through legal advice and other assistance on civil matters, according to the state bar.

The clients include the poor, elderly, disabled, unemployed and disadvantaged.

Civil legal services provided include cases of housing, domestic violence, divorce and child custody, employment, civil rights and public assistance.

Union/Wallowa County Circuit Court Judge Phillip Mendiguren spoke at the awards event.

Guevara, of Legal Aide Services of Oregon's Pendleton office, presented the awards.

A study two years ago showed that of Oregon's poor and disadvantaged only two of every 10 can afford legal advice.

Since the study, even more people are in need of the services provided by the state's legal aid offices, the bar association said.

"Now more than ever, legal assistance is needed for those who can least afford it.

"Ensuring access to justice for all people is an aspiration that attorneys should advance," said Larvik.