An Intriguing Web of Pro Bono Content:
A Guide to the ABA Pro Bono Committee’s Web Site

What are some new strategies for engaging judges in supporting our pro bono efforts?
How can I use my bar presidency to advance pro bono services by our association’s members?
Is mandatory pro bono reporting something that our state should consider?
What are some tips for better management of our pro bono program?
Who are some of the partners with whom we should be working?

These questions and many more can be answered by checking out the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Services Committee’s website at www.abaprobono.org.

The Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service is the ABA's center of activity for the development and promotion of pro bono policies, initiatives and individual lawyer volunteer legal service. The mission of the Pro Bono Committee, and its project the ABA Center for Pro Bono, is to ensure access to justice through the expansion and enhancement of the delivery of legal and other law-related services to the underserved through volunteer efforts of legal professionals nationwide.  The Committee fosters the development of pro bono programs and activities by law firms, bar associations, corporate legal departments, law schools, government attorney offices and others; analyzes the scope and function of pro bono programs; offers best practices and resources to help improve program operation; and proposes and reviews policy and rules that affect lawyers' ability to provide pro bono legal services.

The Committee’s website is our on-site tool for sharing our expertise, resources, news and information with our many constituents.  It has become the national “go-to” website for pro bono content with over one million page views during the last fiscal year.

Once you arrive at www.abaprobono.org you will find three ways of accessing the vast amount of information it contains: by topic, by resource, and by the “who are you” tool.  The home page introduces you to the Pro Bono Committee and its project the ABA Center for Pro Bono and provides brief overviews of and links to the rest of the site’s content.  Using the access strategies described below you will be able to take full advantage of what the site has to offer.

Topic Access

Using the left navigation bar or the topic areas highlighted on the home page you can find information about:

…including information about the Committee-sponsored ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards and pro bono and public service awards sponsored by other ABA entities.  All of these award programs are always looking for more nominees.  Review the options and consider lawyers in your area who might qualify.

…the largest gathering of access to justice advocates held each year. Sponsored by the ABA Pro Bono Committee and the National Legal Aid and Defender Association this annual conference brings together representatives from all components of the legal profession – both public sector and private practice – to explore new strategies for serving the legal needs of low and moderate income individuals.

…offering information about a range of pro bono policy strategies including ethical rules, pro bono reporting, emeritus rules and much more.

…including ideas for developing new pro bono projects, managing existing programs and promoting pro bono within your workplace or community.

…featuring links to descriptions and resources of Committee and Center for Pro Bono Projects including the Medical-Legal Partnership Pro Bono Support Project, the Business Law Pro Bono Project and more.

  • National Celebration of Pro Bono

...a national initiative designed to highlight pro bono at a local level and providing you with the opportunity to join in the annual celebration of the invaluable volunteer legal services provided by America’s lawyers.

Resource Access

…offering information about webinars, conferences, national events and also providing you with the opportunity to promote your own events.

…showcasing the many publications the Pro Bono Committee has produced over the years geared toward improving pro bono program management, assisting with project outreach, managing pro bono in certain contexts (e.g. rural areas), teaching pro bono lawyers about how to work with their clients, and much more.  Directories of pro bono projects and access to two clearinghouses of extensive project material are also available through this link. Most of the Committee’s publications are available as free downloads.

  • News and Highlights

…keeping you up-to-date on the site with news of note regarding pro bono at the ABA and around the country….and,

  • Social Media

…providing you a way to keep up-to-date about the world of pro bono through Twitter and Facebook.

…offering a collection of videos (and the opportunity for you to share your own) showcasing how to use this medium to recruit new attorneys, to educate the public about the good work of lawyers, to highlight the work of award recipients, and to promote your program initiatives.

…featuring the National Pro Bono Volunteer Opportunities Guide, providing you an easy to find pro bono programs where you can volunteer by substantive area and geographic region.  This section of the web site also features information about and access to special interest pro bono opportunities.

“Who Are You?” Access

Many people visiting the Pro Bono Committee’s web site find that the best way to access the wealth of information contained there is to find the box that’s titled Resources Just For You.  Simply click on the arrow next to “Who Are You?” and select the descriptor that best represents your pro bono interest.  If you want to know more about law firm pro bono, select “law firm.”  If you are a judge who wants to know more about what you can do to expand pro bono in your area, select “Courts.”  Other choices include:

  • Access to Justice Commissions
  • Bar Association Leaders/Staff
  • Corporate Law Departments
  • Funders
  • Government Attorneys
  • Law Schools
  • Paralegals
  • Pro Bono/PAI Programs
  • Senior/Inactive Lawyers
  • State Pro Bono Support
  • Volunteers

Once you’ve made your selection, click “Go to Page” and you will be on your way to learning more about pro bono within the context of your particular area of interest.

We keep the web site as up-to-date as possible with new content added regularly.  Efforts are underway to upgrade the site to make it even more user friendly and accessible.  Your feedback is always welcome.  Are there new features you would like to see added?  Is there content that you wish was on the site but is either not there now or it is hard to find?  Send your suggestions to Cheryl Zalenski, Director of the ABA Center for Pro Bono, at Cheryl.Zalenski@americanbar.org.