Perhaps more important than ever in harsh economic times is the pro bono work legal professionals are committed to performing. Beginning October 21, the ABA will help law firms, bar associations and legal groups everywhere recognize Celebrate Pro Bono Week. From October 24 to October 30, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service will sponsor recognition of the work done to benefit the poor and underserved in our communities.
Pro bono work of course refers to legal services performed free of charge to benefit those in need. Pro bono work can be done on behalf of indigent clients needing representation, or even the cash- strapped family breadwinner out of work and facing foreclosure. According to ABA President Stephen N. Zack, pro bono work is a fundamental part of the practice of law. The ABA has set an "aspirational goal" for each of its practicing members to perform 50 hours of pro bono work a year.
President Zack explains why Pro Bono Week is worth recognizing in your community. "This week honors the countless lawyers around the country who donate their time to helping people and causes that otherwise wouldn't have an advocate. We celebrate all the ways lawyers serve our communities, strengthen our justice system and support the rule of law."
Events to recognize Pro Bono Week are planned in 48 states across the nation. Many of the 485 events planned include opening service-clinics for low-income clients, or training practitioners in specific types of pro bono service inducing work with immigrant communities and victims of domestic violence.
Michael Pratt, chair of the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, is pleased with the growth he has seen in the participation in Pro Bono Week. "Virtually every segment of the legal profession has stepped up to plan and participate in pro bono events; nearly every state is organizing at least one program. The depth and breadth of the celebration is very impressive, after just one year," said Pratt.
Get involved or learn more about Celebrate Pro Bono Week now.