Pro Bono Legal Cases

The District of Columbia Legal Aid Society, for example, has launched an appellate advocacy project to address issues that have contributed to the persistence of concentrated poverty in the district. As part of the project, lawyers work with other members of the civil justice services to identify emerging or unresolved issues, develop cases that may represent those issues, and monitor the D.C. Court of Appeals` case for amicus curia opportunities. The project has made important decisions regarding the rights of tenants, people with disabilities and victims of domestic violence. Such vocational work can be fertile ground for pro bono partnerships between legal service providers and private companies. See examples of other organizations that have successfully used private lawyers to reduce the demand for legal services. The Law Society Committee is grateful for the support of the following firms in our pro bono cases over the years: However, since the publication of the Baselines report, new technologies have emerged, with the development of tools such as cloud computing, the rise of social media and the virtual office, as well as new ways of storing and sharing information. LSC should update its baseline report to include these technologies and make recommendations for collaborative use of the technology at national and local levels. [fn] LSC recently convened its 2012 Technology Summit on Using Technology to Expand Access to Justice, which explored many ways in which new technologies can be used to promote legal services.

The Summit white papers will be published by the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology. [/fn] Of course, there are already many interesting resources on existing pro bono resources to build an effective pro bono program include: Finally, the Task Force recognizes that developing and supporting effective pro bono programs requires the investment of valuable time and resources from already overburdened legal aid organizations. To put it simply, pro bono is not free. The Task Force therefore encourages funders to make investments in infrastructure to facilitate volunteer engagement. Eating a high-quality pro bono program requires an investment of time and money. Many of the report`s recommendations would be costly – well beyond the 12.5% of its grant that LSC requires from its Private Lawyer Grant (PAI) recipients – and therefore particularly difficult to implement given the current economic environment. However, LSC and its recipients can take several steps to adequately fund their programs: The stakeholders involved in these efforts should be applauded. We encourage others to help as much as possible. General counsel, corporate directors and lawyers should discuss the need for funding and contribute where possible. LSC grantees should also consider launching fundraising campaigns and exploring new sources of funding. [fn] Some trainings, such as the annual fundraising conference on management information exchange, are available, but more tools and support are needed to expand these efforts.

The ABA Access to Justice Initiatives Resource Centre is a valuable source of technical support in this area of fundraising. Comm. ABA permanent at Legal Aid & Indigent Defendants, Resource Center for Access to Justice Initiatives, indigent_defendants/initiatives/resource_center_for_access_to_ justice.html. [/fn] Everyone should realize that while volunteer lawyers can help, they cannot do so without the support, expertise and time of legal aid lawyers. Some judges refrain from encouraging pro bono efforts for fear that it will violate ethical standards. By revising codes of conduct, state supreme courts can give justice leaders greater leeway to encourage lawyers to take on pro bono cases. The PAI Regulation has led to increased cooperation between LSC fellows and private lawyers. However, due to the changing realities of the legal market, there are some areas where the regulations could be productively revised to ensure that LSC fellows can use their grants to encourage pro bono participation. Section 1614.3 of the Regulations describes the range of activities that may be considered in the IIA requirement and how the costs associated with IIA expenditures are identified and accounted for. In practice, the regulation presents complications for LSC fellows in some areas. LSC should therefore review the regulations in the following areas: The email must contain an explanation of the requested changes and your contact information. The list is updated quarterly (January, April, July and October) and all update requests must be submitted at least 4 weeks before the end of the quarter in which you request an update.

Providers whose applications are pending or who are currently on the list must notify the OLSP in writing within 10 business days if their contact information has changed, if any restrictions on the provision of pro bono legal services have changed, or if the provider is no longer eligible to be added to the list. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.66. If OLAP is not notified, the vendor name can be removed from the list. See 8 C.F.R. § 1003.65. Information about the law or tools to solve simple legal problems. By 2020, retirees will represent nearly half of all lawyers.

[fn] Marc Galanter, “Old and in the Way: The Coming Demographic Transformation of the Legal Profession and Its Implications for the Provision of Legal Services”, 1999 Wisc. 1081, 1085 (1999). [/fn] Programs involving experienced and retired lawyers through pro bono work have been in place for many years, but interest in engaging them has intensified due to the phenomenal growth of this segment of the profession. Inactive lawyers are also a potentially important resource, as they include not only seasoned lawyers, but also those who do not want to work as lawyers but still want to be hired, as well as law professors who do not practice elsewhere. A successful pro bono program requires top-down support. Good pro bono programs cannot exist without legal aid lawyers, and the heads of legal aid organizations must commit to doing so pro bono so that it permeates the culture of an organization. There are several steps leaders can take to show this support. [fn] An excellent resource for leaders looking to build a good pro bono culture is Betty B.

Stallings, 12 Key Actions of Volunteer Program Champions: CEO`s Who Lead the Way (2005), which identifies the importance of supporting leadership in creating a pro-volunteer culture in an organization, newbook/pdf/5-219-12KeyActions.pdf[/fn] First, leaders themselves should actively participate in pro bono programs. They should encourage and celebrate it while being honest (in a positive way) about some of the challenges of working with pro bono lawyers. You should ensure that respected employees view private engagement as an important part of their work and give examples of these lawyers` successful support for pro bono efforts. You should encourage employees to be creative in recruiting and managing volunteer volunteers, to hire a competent and respected lawyer to manage the organization`s pro bono program, and to make themselves available to that manager. LSC can play a role in supporting these efforts by directing some of the information and resources considered in the toolkit recommendation above to share successful efforts among beneficiary leaders to shape and create pro bono cultures.