Pro Bono Month
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 serve. 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 as Pro Bono Month
- Speeches (to civic groups)
- 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 Lawyers Program.
Each Wednesday in October the Pro Bono Celebration Task Force will sponsor a one-hour CLE. For more information on the topic and how to register watch The Scoop and check out the ASB Calendar of Events.
Alabama’s law schools have joined together to encourage their students to take the Pro Bono Pledge during Pro Bono Month. Law students will commit to include time each year to render service to their communities through activities such as volunteering, mentoring, participating in legal clinics, working in public interest or public service and providing legal services to those in need.
To assist in your planning, the Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Celebration Task Force has developed a packet of materials.
The Alabama State Bar Pro Bono Celebration Task Force is again sponsoring a video contest for Alabama law students to increase participation in pro bono work and raise awareness of pro bono efforts, programs, and providers throughout the state. The theme of the contest is Why Pro Bono Matters.
Each October, the Volunteer Lawyers Program coordinates the Pro Bono Month Celebration and the events encompassing it. The lawyers and legal professionals that are members of the VLP, make this program possible. To fill out the online Volunteer Lawyers Program Form today, click here. Just a few hours of your time can make a world of difference for you, for your profession, and for the community.
The benefits to you are enormous. As a pro bono volunteer, you provide a tremendous benefit to the indigent families in need of civil legal assistance. Become a lawyer who volunteers time to represent those unable to afford legal services. Read more about the VLP.
Contact the VLP at 334-269-1515 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.