It's October: National Pro Bono Celebration Is Here

For the past seven years, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has shined the spotlight during October on the increasing need for pro bono services, and the lawyers and other professionals who lend their time and talent to those who cannot afford, but need, the services of a civil lawyer.  

Why This Week Is SO Important

When the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service announced its plans for the first National Celebration of Pro Bono, questions were raised about the value of a nationally coordinated strategy for recognizing pro bono across the country.

The Pro Bono Committee believed strongly that the initiative, focusing on local projects held during a designated timeframe, would capture the interest and energy of the legal community.

That confidence has borne fruit: hundreds of event sponsors and individuals supported and coordinated more than 2000 exciting and well-attended events in 48 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia and Canada.

The confluence of two circumstances made the initial timing of the National Celebration of Pro Bono particularly important: the increasing need for pro bono services as economic conditions worsened, and the unprecedented response of attorneys to meet this need.

Although national in breadth, 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.

For more background information: National Pro Bono Celebration

What’s Happening To Celebrate ...

The Pro Bono Project continues to be an ardent supporter of the National Pro Bono Celebration (NPBC) week, which kicks off this year on Sunday, October 25th and ends with a bang on Halloween. Events are happening across the country during the entire week and The Project is doing its fair share in the six-parish area surrounding New Orleans to make sure that pro bono is front and center all week long.

Officials from both Jefferson and Orleans Parish officials have already issued proclamations to acknowledge this week and the important role pro bono plays in the lives of many metro area residents.

Executive Director, Rachel Piercey (c), with Jefferson Parish Council President, John Young (l) and Board Member, Chris Short (r) surrounded by the Jefferson Parish Council members at the October 7, 2015 Council meeting, following the presentation of the proclamation for National Pro Bono Celebration week. Photo courtesy of the Jefferson Parish Public Information Office.

Executive Director, Rachel Piercey (c), with Jefferson Parish Council President, John Young (l) and Board Member, Chris Short (r) surrounded by the Jefferson Parish Council members at the October 7, 2015 Council meeting, following the presentation of the proclamation for National Pro Bono Celebration week. Photo courtesy of the Jefferson Parish Public Information Office.

This year, The Project is hosting five clinics and a CLE. We’re also joining Adams and Reese to work with them for the nonpartisan Election Protection Project,

Clinics

Our thanks goes out to our volunteers and staff, who have stepped up to already staff all of the clinics we’re hosting during NPBC week. Thanks to the following for their pro bono spirit:

  • 10/27—Senior Clinic, staffed by: Roland Vandenweghe, Adams and Reese LLP
  • 10/27—Succession and wills clinic, staffed by: Chris Coty, The Pro Bono Project
  • 10/28—Divorce Workshop, 70 clients, staffed by: Capital One Legal Team
  • 10/29—Custody by Mandate Clinic, staffed by: Michael Cangelosi, Gieger Laborde & Laperouse LLC
  • 10/31—Consumer Clinic, staffed by: Jesse George, The Pro Bono Project

CLE

On Tuesday, October 27 from 10 am to noon, we’ll be hosting a free Family Law CLE, “All In the Family” at Baker Donelson, 201 St Charles Avenue, Suite 3600. Registration begins at 9:30 am.

A diverse training panel will offer a comprehensive look at the basics of working on Family Law cases. The panel includes: Linton Carney, The Pro Bono Project, Sandra Diggs-Miller, Entergy, Benjamin W. Janke, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC, Andrew D. Mendez, Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann, LLC, and Samantha Weidner, Samantha Weidner Attorney and Counselor at Law, LLC. Our thanks to Baker Donelson for hosting this event. 2 CLE credits.

Additional details and to register: All In The Family CLE

Election Protection Project

Finally, we’re kicking off the week a day early with law firm Adams and Reese LLP, which is partnering with The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law  for the statewide elections on Saturday October 24 on behalf of the nonpartisan Election Protection Project, whose mission is to ensure that all voters have an equal opportunity to participate in the political process. We’re looking for volunteers to staff the call center to field questions and complaints.

To volunteer: Election Protection

We hope to see many of you during National Pro Bono Celebration week, as we collaborate with you in our efforts to acknowledge and promote the benefits of pro bono!

Read about how you, our volunteers, make pro bono count: Volunteers