October 01, 2015

Rosales ABA Day of Service Letter

Dear GPSolo Members,

The members of the Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division have a legacy of giving generously of their time, talents and energy for the betterment of our communities and improving access to justice.  Our members give back continuously, from providing pro bono legal representation through providing countless hours of community service.  

This year, as part of ABA President Paulette Brown’s initiative: "And Justice For All: An ABA Day of Service" I am asking you to specifically commit to providing pro bono or community service during the week of October 23-31, 2015.  The link in the prior sentence sends you to a short video from President Brown on her initiative. 

If you are uncertain about projects that you might perform, here are some resources and suggestions:

  1. Pro Bono opportunities by state can be accessed via a map on the ABA’s National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide.
  2. Teach a civics class on the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta.  The Division conducted a contest for high school students and you can download the award winning Magna Carta video (only nine minutes) to show in the schools at:  www.ambar.org/abavideocompetition.  For a quick refresher on Magna Carta, read the ABA Journal June article.
  3. Teach a financial literacy class to high school students.  Just go to www.debtslapped.org for a 40 minute video that can be shown to high school students.  Dee Lee at the ABA GPSolo office (Dee.Lee@AmericanBar.org) can also send you a PowerPoint presentation that can be used to supplement the video.
  4. Take the free, CLE accredited on-line training to represent a child alone in the immigration system, and then sign up with a local agency.  The training can be found at http://www.americanbar.org/groups/gpsolo/initiatives/kind.html and then you can sign up to take a case (with mentoring) www.ambar.org/ICAN and clicking the “volunteer now” button at the top of the page.
  5. Do some volunteer activity in your community; even if you are not in a position to provide pro bono legal representation, we want you to continue the Division’s legacy of service.  As members of the legal profession, we have been blessed with the gifts of our profession, but with those gifts comes the obligation to use our gifts to help better our communities.  Consider the opportunities above, or seek out an activity in your local community. 

Whatever activity you select, I ask that you take two small steps to make sure your efforts are recognized:

  1. Send an email to gpsolo@americanbar.org with the subject “day of service” and in the body of the email let our staff know you participated (you don’t need to be specific);*
  2. Register your plans with the Day of Service site: http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/  and complete the requested information.  

*We will then list of those individuals who send the email requested in (1) to create a “Day of Service Honor Roll” and recognize you in an upcoming issue of GPSolo Magazine.

Thank you for all you already do, you deserve the recognition President Brown’s Day of Service provides.  I look forward to reading your name on our honor roll.


Stephen B. Rosales
Chair, Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division