By Michael G. Bergmann
Coordinated by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, Pro Bono Week is intended to inspire greater pro bono participation by lawyers throughout the nation. This initiative provides an opportunity for legal organizations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the vitally important contributions of America’s lawyers, and to recruit and train the many additional volunteers required to meet the growing demand. The Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service undertook this initiative to provide a format for showcasing the incredible difference that pro bono lawyers make to our nation, to our system of justice, to our communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve.
The ISBA commemorates this national celebration each year by encouraging its members to do pro bono and by recognizing those who meet the call. Two years ago, the ISBA launched its Pro Bono Partner initiative, through which members commit to: (1) seek out the local pro bono legal services being supplied to individuals or charitable, religious, or civic organizations in their community; (2) attend or support a recognition ceremony for those who participate in pro bono services in their community; (3) consider attending training provided to lawyers who provide pro bono services; and (4) commit to joining the efforts to increase access to the legal system.
The ISBA Delivery of Legal Services Committee organized two webinars in October geared towards those interested in helping low-income individuals with their legal needs. Tune in to “Working Effectively with Interpreters” on Wednesday, October 11 at 2:00 p.m., which is free for the first 26 registrants who agree to take a pro bono case in the next year. “Working with Low Income Clients” will be held on Wednesday, October 25 at noon, and is available at no cost for the first 30 registrants who agree to take a pro bono case in the next year.