The Johnson County Family Law American Inn of Court as a matter of policy is committed to maintaining a broad robust community outreach program.  The Inn's outreach program is designed to extend and promote the mission of the American Inns of Court by providing exposure to the broader community and offering opportunities for Inn members to represent the ideals of the American Inns of Court and the Johnson County Family Law American Inn of Court.  The Inn's Outreach Program includes both regular on-going efforts and periodic special outreach projects.  Such outreach efforts include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Professional outreach (presentations at local bar meetings, co-sponsored events with other professional organizations, presentations at law schools, etc.), and

  • General community outreach (special projects and programs designed for the general public, school presentations, fostering public awareness, legal assistance to pro se and indigent individuals, pro bono work, etc.), and

  • Mentoring and assisting organizers of new Inns, providing Inn-to-Inn support for new or troubled Inns, and engaging in coaching opportunities with other Inn leaders.  

                Individual Inn members are encouraged and expected to engage in ongoing informal outreach and to propose specific Inn outreach projects at any time.  


                Members of The Johnson County Family Law American Inn of Court engage in regular ongoing outreach activities, including presentations at local bar and other professional organization meetings, presentations at elementary, secondary and law schools and networking with legal, business and other professionals.  In addition, the Inn is committed to building public awareness and support for American Inns of Court values through outreach activities and projects directed to the general public and other specific groups. Such ongoing outreach activities are considered an integral and necessary manifestation of the Inn membership experience. 

            THE COURT SERVICES STUDENT ART PROJECT  (Completed 2014-2015)

            In the Spring of 2013, during the Inn's inaugural year, the office of the Johnson County Court Services were moved to a new location, and it became apparent that the new Court Services offices, including, most importantly, the mediation rooms in which Court Services personnel conducted conferences and mediations with conflicted families, were lacking in wall decor designed to foster the desired collaborative atmosphere.  The Inn President, the Honorable Keven M.P. O'Grady, proposed designing a project intended to supply appropriate wall art for the Court Services mediation rooms, and the Inn created and appointed an Art Project Design Committee to pursue that project, which committee subsequently invited direct participation by Court Services personnel.

      During the Spring and Summer of 2014, the Design Committee proposed reaching out to local elementary school principals and art teachers and inviting their students to create "family-themed" wall art for display in the Court Services mediation rooms.  The Inn received positive response from local elementary school professionals, and, eventually, four schools committed to participating in the project.  The Court Services applied for and received appropriate assistance from the Johnson County Bar Foundation in order to fund necessary expenses for art supplies and materials and framing of art work, and the participating schools were given guidelines as to the physical specifications for the artwork and the family themes from which the elementary school students might choose for their art. 

            During the Fall of 2014, the participating elementary school students, under the guidance of their school professionals, created items of two-dimensional artwork to submit to the Design Committee for possible use and display.  Ultimately, dozens of artwork pieces were submitted, and after reviewing all of them, the Design Committee selected several for rotating display in the Court Services mediation rooms.  In addition, due to the very high quality and number of entries, each sitting District Court Judge was allowed to select an item for framing and display in his/her court chambers as well. 

            In January 2015, the Inn Design Committee convened a meeting to review the art project entries and select those most suited for display.  The following month, the Inn held a special reception for the families of students whose artwork was selected for display, and those students received Certificates of Appreciation for their participation and selection.  Shortly thereafter, the selected artwork went on display in the respective mediation rooms and Court chambers, where those items remain today.

            As a follow-up to the project, the Inn President, Honorable Keven M.P. O'Grady, along with one or more Inn members, visited each of the elementary school art classes that participated in the project, during which visits the Inn expressed its gratitude for the student's participation and presented a brief program about the Inn, the court system, and how the court system fits with the structure of government of the states and the United States.

            The Court Services Student Art Project was so successful that the Inn is currently considering whether to conduct a similar project periodically, perhaps annually going forward.


            The Johnson County District Court maintains a "Help Center" in the Courthouse, which facility is aimed at assisting indigent and Pro Se litigants navigate the court process and procedures.  The Johnson County Family Law American Inn of Court encourages its members to volunter to assist in staffing the Help Center, and several members already do so.  The Inn collected snacks, books and toys for children accompanying theri parents to the Help Center.  Inn members volunteer at Night Court. Night Court is an opportunity for litigants to appear in court to have simple hearing without having to take off time from work.  Inn members provide volunteer assitance to unrepresented persons with completing forms and working with court staff.


            Connections to Success ( is a local 501(c)(3) organization the mission of which is to "inspire individuals to realize their dreams and achieve economic independence by providing, hope, resources and a plan."  One means of assisting Connections is by donating clothing or organize a clothing drive. In conjunction with the Inn's 2015 Social Event, the Inn invited social event attendees to bring and donate an item of professional clothing for donation to Connections for subsequent donation to indigent and underprivileged aspiring professionals. 


            SAFEHOME ( is a local 501(c)(3) organization, the mission of which is to "break the cycle of domestic violence and partner abuse for victims and their children by providing, shelter, advocacy, counseling and prevention education in our community."  The Inn collected various items needed by Saefhome resiedents and clients including toiletries, clothing and gasoline cards so that victims of abuse might afford transportatino to Court and mental health services.


           New and gentlyused books were collected for the Family Conservancy's Talk, Read, Play project.  This project encourages parents of infants, toddlers and preschoolers to send time every day talking , reading and playing with their childre.  teh books are provided free to young parents through various outlets around Kansas City including the Johnson County District Court Help Center. 


          Inn members volunteerd theri time and talents to staff the monthly Family Court Night Court.  The idea behingd night court was to allow litigants without great finanicial resources to schedule uncontested and simple hearings at a time that woudl not require them to miss much, if any, work.  Inn volunteers review paperwork and help the litigants be ready to meeet with the judge so that they might hae a quick and easy court experience.


            Harvesters-the Community Food Network ( is a regional (501(c)(3) food bank serving a 26-county area of northwest Missouri and northeastern Kansas.  Harvesters is a certified member of Feeding America, a nationwide network of more than 200 food banks, and its mission is to "feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow."  The Inn collected non-perishable foods during the holiday season of the Inn year.  


            The Johnson County Family Law American Inn of Court also has identified possible future outreach activities as described below.

            PRO BONO WEEK

         The Inn intends to engage in activities designed to help focus public attention on the need for pro bono services and to celebrate the excellent work of lawyers who volunteer their time and talents to the underserved.  Goals will include recruiting more pro bono volunteers, encouraging public support for pro bono activities, encouraging collaborative relationships between pro bono providers and relevant community resources, and recognizing the efforts of family law attorneys who provide pro bono assistance.  Efforts will also be made to encourage reduced fee and limited scope services. 

LAW DAY (May 1, 2016 and ongoing)

        The Inn plans to participate in and coordinate Law Day activities beginning May 1, 2016.  Law Day activities may include community programs, volunteer activities, educational events and other efforts designed to raise public awareness about the legal profession, the courts and their role in American society.           

            THE UPLIFT PROJECT  (proposed future)

            Uplift Organization, Inc. ( is a local 501(c)(3)  organization, the mission of which is to bring "care and compassion to the homeless."  Uplift receives no public funding of any kind and is staffed by volunteers and depends entirely on donations of food, clothing and other goods in conducting its mission.  Three evenings each week, year-round, rain or shine, Uplift trucks and volunteers deliver hot meals, donated clothing, and other necessities to Kansas City area homeless, most of whom live on the street or in makeshift camps.  The Inn proposed a future project whereby Inn members collect food, clothing and/or other necessities for Uplift to deliver to our area homeless.


            The Wounded Warrior Project ( is a well-known national 501(c)(3) organization, the purpose of which is "[t]o raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of injured service members, to help injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet the needs of injured service members."  The Inn proposed a future outreach activity designed to assist The Wounded Warrior Project in such manner as may be feasible and appropriate.