Legal Services of North Florida, Inc.
2119 Delta Blvd
Tallahassee FL 32303-4209
Contact Information
Address 2119 Delta Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 32303
Telephone (850) 385-9007
Fax 850 205-6540
E-mail john@lsnf.org
Web and Social Media
Donate to this Orgs Endowment Fund at Community Foundation http://www.cfnf.org/index.cfm?p=ways-to-give
At A Glance
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
EIN Number 51-0197090
Year of Incorporation 1976
Financial Summary
 
 
Projected Revenue $3,688,808.00
Projected Expenses $3,847,423.00
Mission Statement

The mission of Legal Services of North Florida is "To provide An Opportunity for Justice for eligible residents through representation conducted efficiently and comparable in quality to that of the private bar, and through other forms of legal assistance designed to provide a full range of civil legal services to those in need."

Needs Statement

LSNF has many more needs, but a good start is with what we have to share below.

·         $334 to help a senior complete important end of life directives critical in estate planning.

·         $658 to help defend a homeowner against foreclosure and the loss of the family home.

·         $846 to help remove a victim of domestic violence from an abusive relationship through divorce.

·         $1,065 to represent and advocate for medical and educational services on behalf of a child to enhance his opportunity for success.

·         $30,000 to hire full-time support staff to expand pro bono legal services for up to 20 new clients a day.

·         Loan us one of your law firm’s junior lawyers part-time to handle bankruptcies and/or elder law issues.

Impact Statement

During 2013 LSNF substantially expanded services available to its clients by: 1) an expansion of funds and services for veterans in our service area.  We were included as a sub-grantee for funding from the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. We are working with many organizations in the community to improve lives of veterans who are homeless or facing homelessness in the eastern part of our service area; 2) moving our Pensacola branch office.  After several years of being housed in an office that was too small to meet our needs in Pensacola, we found a space that was suitable for our needs and within our budgetary constraints allowing us to use more volunteers; 3) enhancement of our program wide website. We completed the transition to a new program website and added a component offering online pro bono referrals for attorneys willing to undertake representation of clients whose cases we have screened; and, 4) sharing of documents throughout the program. We created SharePoint document libraries for staff in our five offices.  All documents from our five fileservers have been centralized and transferred to our SharePoint site enabling staff to access program documents and other digitized forms and manuals from anywhere there is internet access. 

For 2014, LSNF will continue to concentrate on the provision of a broad range of quality, varied, and professional services to our client community emphasizing preservation of the home; support for families and improved outcomes for children; promotion of employment, economic security and health; and promotion of safety and stability. 

 

Background Statement

LSNF is a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) organization founded in 1976 to serve the civil legal needs of low-income persons. LSNF provides free legal representation serving individuals and families primarily with incomes under 125% of the federal poverty guidelines, with priority emphasis on preservation of the home and promotion of home ownership; support for families and improved outcomes for children; promotion of employment, economic security and health; promotion of safety and stability; and protection of vulnerable populations. The program provides hope and justice for all through a multilingual, multicultural, dedicated staff and a pro bono panel of over 300 active contributing-attorney members program wide.  The growth of the program since its inception has included special programs to resolve domestic violence issues; outreach clinics at the senior citizens’ center and domestic violence shelters to reach our most vulnerable citizens; and creation of a legal advice hotline staffed by volunteer attorneys. LSNF currently enjoys productive partnerships and affiliations with numerous community based organizations and social service agencies and collaborates professionally with the State Attorney’s Offices, the Clerks of Court, and the Public Defender‘s offices. LSNF’s services include not only direct representation, but also public education and outreach regarding legal issues in a variety of substantive areas.

Oversight of the project is managed by LSNF’s Executive Director Kristine E. Knab, a highly respected attorney and legal services director with over 35 years experience at LSNF, with assistance from LSNF Director of Litigation who has over 37 years of public law experience.

Service Categories
Human Services
Areas of Service
Areas Served
Areas
Franklin
Gadsden
Gulf
Jackson
Jefferson
Leon
Liberty
Other
Wakulla
Our service area covers sixteen counties of north Florida: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Wakulla, Walton, and Washington Counties.
Board Chair Statement

 

Cornelia was a victim of domestic violence that I can’t get out of my mind.  I think how strong Cornelia is and how LSNF was her advocate and champion.  I also think about how many cannot get help from LSNF because there is not enough funding to help everyone.  I think about how difficult it is for LSNF staff to have to say no but how life changing it is when we can say yes.  Thanks to our funders and donors, hundreds turn to Legal Services every year to get the expert legal assistance they need to escape a violent home. Thousands more turn to LSNF to save their homes, access public benefits and right the wrongs.

We commend those who help the “Cornelias” every day, the amazing volunteers, supporters and staff who do so very much to bring justice to all.  Our own Kris Knab was honored with the Richard W. Ervin Equal Justice Award for her work in paving the way for justice for poverty level citizens in north Florida.

LSNF worked hard this year to raise much needed funds.  Double the locations and double the music were hits at Jazz for Justice and we awarded the Champion of Legal Services Award to Randall “Big Daddy” Webster for faithfully performing for all seventeen years.  The rest of the year found us busy with grants and presentations to funders along with a ‘Dog Dayz of Summer’ Jewelry Show benefiting LSNF’s domestic violence programs. The annual Founders of Justice Event at Don Hinkle’s home welcomed new members.  Gilmore Services pulled in two trucks to the Tallahassee Office on a clear fall day to allow supporters to shred their papers at lunch.  All the while we shared LSNF activities through new and enhanced Facebook and website posts.  Finally, as 2013 ended we were excited to move into our new Pensacola office.

 All of our efforts together have made 2013 a year to be proud of.  For more information on Cornelia and other clients go to www.bit.ly/CorneliaStory.  As Cornelia’s story still echoes in our hearts, I want to take this opportunity to thank the board who has worked to create new partnerships, strengthen collaborations and guide LSNF through its many challenges.  I also commend the LSNF staff who continue to amaze us all with their enthusiasm, expertise and commitment to hope and justice for all.  

 

CEO Statement/Executive Director Statement

 

As LSNF begins its 38th year we look back with amazement and pride at all the growth and challenges our agency has endured.  In 2013 LSNF served over 7,000 families, from five offices, in sixteen north Florida counties. Our staff of 18 attorneys had extremely high caseloads but changed lives and gave hope to domestic violence victims, children, the elderly, those in danger of losing their homes and the poor. 

The Legal Services Corporation came to assess our work and reported that we are doing a good job of understanding the needs, targeting resources and employing a staff of people who are experienced and passionate about their service to clients.  They specifically mentioned our work with veterans and sexual and domestic violence victims and were impressed with our many collaborative efforts with community based organizations that enhance services to clients. They complimented the quality of work produced by this program and noted our many training opportunities and support for staff and volunteers.  They commended our Director of Litigation, Scott Manion, and were impressed with Javan Ferguson’s work on implementing SharePoint. Additionally, they liked our systems for case management, our volunteer opportunities, extensive community outreach and a board who was supportive and responsive. Legal Services Corporation is our largest funder, and is a strong partner in shaping our policies and best practices as a legal services program.  We were very pleased with their findings. 

2013 also brought other new funding partners.  The Governor signed the foreclosure bill and the Attorney General’s office facilitated a contract with LSNF to provide representation to those in danger of losing their homes.  LSNF also secured new funding to provide sexual assault representation to our clients in the 14th Judicial Circuit, a much needed expansion of our services.  We continued to represent BP Oil Spill Victims and have recovered nearly $3.4 million in claims to date. 

As we look forward we are challenged with continuing to provide hope and justice while funds continue to shrink and numbers of eligible residents rise.  But there is always hope. With careful planning we have money in reserves to meet the projected deficit in 2014. I am proud to lead this organization of committed attorneys, staff, board members, donors and volunteers.  Each day they strive to make sure we don’t have to turn a child away because we don’t have the staff to help.  Each day they work to tell a grandmother that she can keep her home.  Each day their expertise helps a victim get an injunction to protect her from her abuser.  With your continued help we can continue to ensure fairness in the justice system for all citizens, regardless of their income and resources.  

 

Description

Legal Services of North Florida, Inc. (LSNF) provides no-cost civil legal representation to domestic violence victims, the elderly, children, and indigent clients from five offices in sixteen North Florida counties.  LSNF clients are provided efficient and quality legal representation by a cadre of dedicated and highly qualified staff attorneys and paralegals as well as community volunteer lawyers. 

LSNF provides a wide range of civil legal representation to our neighbors in the areas of: general civil legal representation to the poor; homelessness prevention; domestic and sexual assault violence education and representation; senior citizen representation; children’s advocacy projects; post-disaster and oil spill victim relief; pro se family law assistance program; low-income taxpayer clinics; economic stability representation; 2nd and 14th Judicial Circuit Telephone Legal Advice Hotline; and, housing education and representation. 

Budget $4,000,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Human Services, General/Other
Population Served Poor,Economically Disadvantaged,Indigent, ,
Short Term Success
Short term success comes in the form of the number of individuals and families served, the successful outcome of cases, the number of hotline clients served and the hours volunteer attorneys spent helping LSNF clients.  In exceeding its goals in 2012, most of these successes included:  resolving 255 custody issues to insure strong families; representing 19 wards in guardianship proceedings; representing 1,084 victims of domestic violence; obtaining 303 orders of protection; representing 38 parents or children in dependency; handling 239 children’s cases; assisting 511 regarding visitation, custody and enforcement of child support; representing 79 families in eviction cases; representing 52 families in foreclosure actions; providing advice and counseling to 831 families on housing matters; representing 21 families in bankruptcy proceedings; saving 46 families from repossession of work transportation; representing 33 individuals in obtaining SSI, SSDI, food stamps and veterans benefits; advising 604 clients on consumer transactions and predatory practices; resolving 54 disputes with the IRS; and filing 787 oil spill claims recovering $1,436,735 for victims. LSNF hopes to maintain this current level of success, but reduced funding from several key grant sources will make this a challenge.
Long term Success In the last year LSNF served over 7,447 families. The sad news is only 20% of the need was met. We still turned away 50% of those who came to us for help. It is difficult to quantify LSNF’s long term successes. However, many of these successes include: preservation of the home; support for families and improved outcomes for children; promotion of employment, economic security and health; and promotion of safety and stability all gained through volunteers and staff of the LSNF.  LSNF ultimately measures its success by the lives that are changed, the families that stay together, children that are safer and the hope that is restored to individuals and families.  LSNF’s vision is to be able to continue to expand its successes by providing more services and access to the courts throughout its sixteen county service area.
Program Success Monitored By
LSNF uses a sophisticated case management system that collects and tracks the number of client services and case results provided, as well as those services provided at outreach events. Detailed project tracking and reporting ensures key goals and objectives are met by LSNF as well as helping to determine additional areas of service. LSNF evaluates its progress by generating monthly project reports that are reviewed by senior attorneys, the Director of Litigation and the Executive Director.  LSNF clients are surveyed. Quarterly progress meetings are conducted and used to resolve any issues impeding program goals.  LSNF also conducts periodic community assessments as part of its 3-5 year goal planning process. 
Examples of Program Success

A single mother had her car destroyed in a fire. She had no replacement for the car that carried her 100 miles each day to her only job. LSNF had already filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy for her and quickly arranged for the woman to obtain the insurance proceeds for the car. LSNF convinced the bankruptcy trustee to exempt the proceeds from the bankruptcy proceedings. This permitted our client to purchase another vehicle in enough time to prevent her from losing her job.

A single mother and her nine children were about to lose their home. LSNF stepped in and, with assistance from a pro bono attorney, was able to get a loan modification after discovering she was paying on several debts that were no longer collectable and that she had been released from a garnishment, thereby freeing-up income to make her mobile home payments.

A handicapped woman needed a divorce but the settlement would disqualify her for the public housing in which she was currently residing. LSNF proved the settlement was not an asset and was able to get her funds put into a retirement account so she could stay in low income housing.

Program Comments
CEO Statement/Executive Director/Board Comments
Board Chair
Board Chair Ms. Sally Gertz Esq.
Company Affiliation FSU College of Law
Term Jan 2014 to Dec 2015
Email sgertz@law.fsu.edu
Board Members
NameAffiliation
Joan Anderson Esq.Humphrey Anderson Law Firm
Joanne Battle Community Volunteer
Mr. Mark A. Bednar Esq.Mark A. Bednar, P. A.
Ms. Tonya Sue Chavis Esq.Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation - Arbitration Unit
Ms. Carolyn Cummings Esq.Cummings & Hobbs, P. A.
Mr. Marty Dix Esq.Akerman Senterfitt
Ms. Sally Gertz Esq.FSU College of Law
Ms. Renee Gordon Esq.Florida Office of the Attorney General
Mr. Barry Gray Greater Sylvania FrontPorch
Mr. Michael Guttmann Esq.Michael Guttmann Law Office
Mr. Oliver Hill Sr.Orange Avenue United Tenants Association
Ms. Fatimah Jackson Community Volunteer
Ms. M. Catherine Lannon Esq.Retired Attorney
Ms. Wendy Loquasto Esq.Fox & Loquasto, P. A.
Mr. Joel Margules Esq.Public Defender's 14th Judicial Circuit
Skip Mitchell Community Volunteer
Mr. West Ritchie Esq.Pleat Perry & Ritchie, PA
Mr. Derek Sims Community Action Agency
Mr. Phil Smith Esq.State Attorney's Office
Daniel Thompson Esq.Berger Singerman
Ms. Yvonne Whitehead Urban League of Tallahassee
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 8
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 13
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 11
Female 10
Governance
Board Term Lengths 3
Board Term Limits 6
Board Meeting Attendance % 65%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 43%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 33%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 4
Standing Committees
Audit
Board Governance
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Endowment
Executive
Nominating
Personnel
CEO Comments The current board  term limit is 20 consecutive years but any years completed prior to 2005 do not count toward the 20-year limit. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Kristine E. Knab Esq.
Term Start 1994
Email kris@lsnf.org
Experience
Kristine Knab has served LSNF for 35 years in multiple capacities including sixteen years as its Executive Director, now a 4 million dollar a year operation.  After graduation from FSU College of Law in 1978, Ms. Knab began her career in law as a staff attorney with LSNF. From Senior Attorney to Director of Litigation and to Executive Director in 1994, Ms. Knab has been involved in litigating a wide range of civil legal issues.  She has overseen the management and supervision of numerous local,  state and federal grants, is responsible for regulatory and compliance issues as well as consulting with staff on issues of program implementation, and is involved in program evaluation and project performance, ensuring timelines are met. Ms. Knab has devoted her life to providing hope and justice for all for the residents of LSNF’s sixteen county service area.
Staff
Full Time Staff 42
Part Time Staff 0
Volunteers 300
Contractors 1
Retention Rate 82%
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Yes
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
NonManagement Formal Evaluation Yes
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency Annually
CEO Comments
While LSNF has no written Communication Plan, it does address the many issues contained in such plans through policy identified in its Litigation Manual.
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 3
Date Strategic Plan Adopted Feb 2014
Management Succession Plan? Yes
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy Yes
Document Destruction Policy Yes
Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fiscal Year
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2014
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2014
Projected Revenue $3,688,808.00
Projected Expenses $3,847,423.00
Endowment Value $773,342.00
Form 990s
Audit or In-House Financial Documents
IRS Letter of Dtermination
Detailed Financials
 
 
Revenue SourcesHelpThe financial analysis involves a comparison of the IRS Form 990 and the audit report (when available) and revenue sources may not sum to total based on reconciliation differences. Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions when not itemized separately.
Fiscal Year201320122011
Foundation and
Corporation Contributions
$0$0$0
Government Contributions$2,340,800$2,459,334$1,718,027
Federal$0$0$0
State$0$0$0
Local$0$0$0
Unspecified$2,340,800$2,459,334$1,718,027
Individual Contributions$2,656,641$1,414,990$2,549,498
$62,240$35,401$39,312
$25,370$24,600$24,950
Investment Income, Net of Losses$73,465$77,922($18,618)
Membership Dues$0$0$0
Special Events$0$0$0
Revenue In-Kind$1,152,648$1,090,849$1,020,168
Other$779$33,688$4,665
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$4,362,663$4,465,958$4,444,030
Administration Expense$617,603$542,025$542,875
Fundraising Expense$63,518$62,783$132,466
Payments to Affiliates$0$0$0
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.251.010.99
Program Expense/Total Expenses86%88%82%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue1%2%3%
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$6,528,444$4,947,778$5,011,020
Current Assets$2,770,427$1,692,142$1,716,469
Long-Term Liabilities$1,474,145$1,253,780$1,339,388
Current Liabilities$223,969$118,084$175,479
Total Net Assets$4,830,330$3,562,171$3,496,153
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities12.3714.339.78
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets23%25%27%
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
Organization Comments
Current income and expense projections are for the period of time this information was entered.
Foundation Comments
  • Financial figures were taken from the audits.
  • Contributions from foundations and corporations are included with total for individuals, as they are not separated in the audit.
  • Top 3 funding sources are not reflected above as they are not indicated in the audit or 990.
  • Has an Endowment at the Community Foundation.
 
Additional Documents
State Charitable Solicitations Permit
View
Nonprofit Legal Services of North Florida, Inc.
Address 2119 Delta Blvd
Tallahassee, FL 323034209
Primary Phone 850 385-9007
Donate to Endowment Fund at Community Foundation http://www.cfnf.org/index.cfm?p=ways-to-give
Contact Email john@lsnf.org
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Kristine E. Knab Esq.
Board Chair Ms. Sally Gertz Esq.
Board Chair Company Affiliation FSU College of Law
Year of Incorporation 1976