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Each year the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service presents five awards to individual lawyers and institutions in the legal profession that have demonstrated outstanding commitment to volunteer legal services for the poor and disadvantaged. The awards are presented during a luncheon at the ABA Annual Meeting in August.
The Pro Bono Publico Awards program seeks to identify and honor individual lawyers and small and large law firms, government attorney offices, corporate law departments and other institutions in the legal profession that have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to our nation's poor and disadvantaged. These services are of critical importance to the increasing number of people in this country living in a state of poverty who are in need of legal representation to improve their lives.
The commitment, energy and new approaches to the delivery of pro bono service demonstrated by past recipients serve as models for others in the legal profession.
Some candidates will be nominated for their longtime dedication to the delivery of pro bono legal services to the poor. Others might be nominated for their creative approaches to the delivery of volunteer legal services or their commitment to representing low-income persons. Some may have brought about legislation that contributes substantially to legal services to the poor.
Although many groups, such as bar associations and volunteer lawyer projects do not meet the criteria for the ABA Pro Bono Publico Award, these groups may be eligible for a number of other ABA awards that honor bar associations, public service and legal aid lawyers, and others.