The statewide pro bono celebration is scheduled for the month of October each year. Sponsored by the Alabama State Bar, the celebration is a coordinated statewide effort to showcase the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the state, its system of justice, its communities and most of all to the clients they service. The month is also dedicated to the quest for more pro bono volunteers to meet the ever-growing legal needs of this country’s most vulnerable citizens.
Although statewide in breadth, this celebration provides an opportunity for local bar and legal associations to collaboratively commemorate the contributions of America’s lawyers and recruit additional volunteers to meet the growing need.
Judicial circuits, counties, cities, bar associations and law schools across the state are planning some type of activity during the month. The activities include:
- Alabama Supreme Court Order designating October 2018 as Pro Bono Month
- Speeches (to civic group)
- Community Legal Education
- Recruitment Drives
- Radio Program Interviews
- City, County or Bar Association Proclamations
- CLE – Continuing Legal Education Programs
Why are we doing this?
The need for legal aid in Alabama is dire. Unlike the criminal defense system, the constitutional guarantee of funding for low-income Alabamians who need civil legal assistance has not yet been met. The consequences of a lack of access to justice are devastating for the poor and weaken a democratic society as a whole. Last year, more than 422,000 households experienced more than 733,000 legal issues with low-income households only having had legal assistance for approximately 16 percent of these legal problems.
What can I do to help those who may need these services?
Refer anyone you think can be assisted to the Volunteer Lawyer’s Program.