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ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono - American Bar Association

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                       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


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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



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