09:46 AM

Osage Beach lawyer recognized for pro bono efforts

Gerard “Jay” Harms knows the importance of pro bono work in the community. As a past recipient of The Missouri Bar’s Pro Bono Publico award in 2012, he has experience in helping others in need of his skills. 

Harms started his career with active duty in the Army and National Guard, and after earning a master’s degree in healthcare administration and his juris doctorate, he served as a professor for Upper Iowa University teaching healthcare ethics and business law.  

Today, as the owner of Harms Law Office, LLC in Osage Beach, he works primarily in real estate and construction law, along with juvenile law and adoption.  

Harms volunteers with the Samaritan Center of Jefferson City’s Legal Care Program. This service for low-income families connects persons of limited means with lawyers willing to accept pro bono clients.  

For over ten years, Harms has worked on behalf of individuals in need of help. One case that stands out for him involved a mother with a custody case involving drugs that took over a year and a half to resolve.  Harms noted that many drug cases do not turn out nearly as well, but that his client worked hard to make changes for a better life for herself and her children.

I am proud to partner with the Samaritan Center as one of their referral attorneys,” said Harms. 

Harms encourages others to volunteer, commenting, “By accepting even one pro bono client each year, the attorneys in the central Missouri area affect many lives by representing persons that may be at a disadvantage in civil legal proceedings because they cannot afford to hire an attorney. 

Harms was recently honored with a 2020 Pro Bono Publico Award. These Missouri Bar awards acknowledge lawyers, firms or organizations for outstanding pro bono activities.  

Learn about the inspiring service of more Missouri lawyers on social media with #MOLawyersHelp and join the national week using #CelebrateProBono.