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20 AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION STANDING COMMITTEE ON PRO BONO AND PUBLIC SERVICE INFORMATIONAL REPORT TO THE ABA HOUSE OF DELEGATES The Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service continues to work with state and local bar associations, law firms, corporate counsel, the judiciary, law schools, government attorneys, minority and specialty bar associations and other national and international legal organizations, to encourage and facilitate pro bono legal services. In particular, the Committee has developed model programs and policies to assist in the implementation of pro bono programs, has made available its expertise and guidance, and has sought to underscore publicly the importance of pro bono work to the profession. The Pro Bono Committee’s plans for the third National Celebration of Pro Bono are gaining momentum. Scheduled for the week of October 24-30, 2011 the Celebration will consist of hundreds of local events across the country organized by bar associations, law schools, law firms, courts and other organizations within the legal profession. The Committee is providing a coordinated effort nationally with resources, ideas, models and more that can be replicated locally. The Celebration week is designed to highlight 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. Members, liaisons and staff of the Committee continue to work on implementing House of Delegates Reports focused on particular strategies for expanding pro bono throughout the legal profession. The ABA Center for Pro Bono, a project of the Committee, provides technical assistance on promoting and developing pro bono to every facet of the legal profession, including individual attorneys, law firms, law schools, bar associations, and nonprofit organizations providing pro bono legal services. Center staff provides technical assistance through a variety of means, including staff contact and discussion with individuals, the Center’s website, publications, development of training programs at various conferences, and its Peer Consulting Project. The Center staff also provides technical support on various aspects of pro bono development to ABA entities, including Labor and Employment Law, GP Solo, and others. The Committee works closely with other ABA entities, recently supporting the General Practice, Solo and Small Firm Division partnership with Kids In Need Of Defense (KIND), providing feedback to the Law Practice Management Section on a book on how to incorporate pro bono into a law practice, and working with the Judicial Division on expanding the Committee’s on- line resources on how judges and courts can promote and expand pro bono. The director of the Committee’s Center for Pro Bono participated in an internal ABA Disaster Tabletop Exercise. The exercise discussed a draft protocol for how the ABA might assess and organize a response to a major disaster. Additionally, the Center for Pro Bono has provided technical support to organizations in Georgia, Missouri, and Tennessee that are providing pro bono legal assistance to those affected by recent disasters. The Pro Bono Committee, with its partner the National Legal Aid and Defender Association, recently held the 2011 Equal Justice Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference brought 1 20 together a broad array of individuals committed to expanding access to justice for all. Over 730 individuals attended including bar leaders, judges, corporate counsel, government attorneys, legal services and pro bono program board members and staff, and others working to meet the civil legal needs of the poor. Special pre-conference programs were offered for law school pro bono and public service representatives, law firm pro bono managers, self-help center managers, and new and experienced pro bono program directors. During the main conference, over 80 programs were offered including programs developed by a number of different ABA entities. The ABA Medical Legal Partnerships Pro Bono Support Project, an initiative developed by the Pro Bono Committee in partnership with the Health Law Section, the AIDS Coordinating Committee and the ABA Center on Children and the Law, continues to meet the needs of the rapidly growing medical-legal partnership pro bono community. A comprehensive directory of existing projects with pro bono components and an online resource center has been developed for law firms and others interested in developing collaborations with medical-legal partnerships. The ABA MLP Project presented the first annual ABA Outstanding Pro Bono Advocacy in Medical-Legal Partnership Award in March. The award was presented at the Medical-Legal Partnership Summit to Baker & Daniels LLP in recognition of their partnership with the Indiana School of Medicine and Wishard Health Services. The ABA MLP Project worked with Walmart Legal to create the company’s first pro bono project. The Walmart MLP Pro Bono Project was specifically designed to best meet the needs of the patients of Arkansas Children’s Hospital (ACH). The ABA MLP Project has also been working with a number of law firms to design and implement MLP pro bono projects in Boston, New York, Chicago, Dallas and Raleigh/Durham. The pro bono projects range from “adopting” a health center to creating handbooks and manuals on MLP for statewide use. The Pro Bono Committee is presenting the 2011 Pro Bono Awards Luncheon at the Annual Meeting. This is the principal Association-wide event that recognizes the volunteer efforts of the private bar to provide civil legal services to the indigent. The Awards were first presented in 1984 and recognize lawyers and law firms for extraordinary contributions to extending volunteer legal services to the poor and disadvantaged. This year’s recipients are: Honorable Jay C. Zainey, New Orleans, LA; Elena Park, Cozen O’Connor, West Conshohocken, PA; Henry A. Callaway III, Hand Arendall LLC, Mobile, AL; O’Melveny & Myers LLP; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP The Committee is planning a National Pro Bono Summit to be held in October 2011. The purpose of the Summit is to bring together key pro bono leaders and stakeholders to examine new strategies for growing pro bono participation by America’s lawyers. Respectfully submitted, A. Michael Pratt, Chair August 2011 2
"ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono - American Bar Association"