November 16, 2017

Pro Bono Committee

Pro Bono Work

The Committee works on a number of interesting projects designed to educate Section members about pro bono work.

The Committee works on a number of interesting projects designed to educate Section members about pro bono work, recognize the extraordinary efforts of Section members who perform pro bono work through the Section's Frances Perkins Public Service Award, and support the efforts of the Section and its members to perform pro bono work.

To find out how you can participate, contact one of the listed at the right.

Frances Perkins Public Service Award

The need for pro bono services in the labor and employment area is acute. Questions relating to labor and employment law account for more than a quarter of the issues raised in many pro bono programs. The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law wants to acknowledge individuals, firms, corporate and union legal departments, government agencies, and other organizations who help meet this crucial need.

As a result, the Section established the Frances Perkins Public Service Award (Award). The Award recognizes individuals or organizations that demonstrate a significant commitment to providing pro bono legal services primarily in the areas of labor and employment law to persons of limited means or to nonprofit, governmental, civic, community or religious organizations designed primarily to address the needs of individuals with limited means.

Midwinter Meeting Fundraiser Project

Many of the Section’s committees conduct meetings throughout the U.S. and beyond. The Pro Bono Work Committee had developed a protocol outlining ways for the committees to conduct fundraising activities which benefit a charitable organization in the region in which the committee is meeting. During the 2012 Midwinter Meeting season, Section committees raised and donated more than $5000 to local charities.

Model Law Firm Pro Bono Policy

In order to assist members of the Section of Labor and Employment Law in formulating a pro bono policy for their law firms, the Pro Bono Work Committee has developed a model policy. The Committee urges all firms to adopt and implement a pro bono policy.

The model policy is consistent with ABA Model Rule 6.1, however, the views expressed herein have not been approved by the House of Delegates or the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association and, accordingly, should not be construed as representing the policy of the American Bar Association.

The Pro Bono Work Committee reminds Section members that they must also consult their state and local bar association's pro bono rules before instituting a pro bono policy. The web site of the ABA Center for Pro Bono (see in the right panel of this page) provides links to most states' pro bono rules.

The Committee recommends that each firm's pro bono policy be distributed to all attorneys at the time it is adopted and annually thereafter.

Read the complete model pro bono policy statement through the link in the right panel of this page.

Settlement Assistance Program in Northern District of Illinois

The Pro Bono Work Committee of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law sees it as part of our mission to expose our members to some of the excellent pro bono programs that are presently operating across the country. Our reason is twofold. First is to applaud those attorneys who are participating in these programs. Second, is to encourage others to establish similar programs in their own community. Towards that end, we offer the following article about an excellent program in Illinois that was highlighted at the recent Annual Section Conference in Chicago.

Beginning in 2006, pro se litigants' chances of resolving their disputes in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois greatly improved. For, in 2006 the Settlement Assistance Program was established by Chief Judge Holderman. Judge Holderman then sought the assistance of the Employment Opportunity Project at the Chicago Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (CLC) to administer the program for the court. More>>

2014 Frances Perkins Public Service Award

Labor and Employment Law Web Resources

Model Law Firm Pro Bono Policy

Committee Liaisons to Pro Bono Committee

Hurricane Relief Efforts

ABA Center for Pro Bono Directory of Pro Bono Programs

Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service

National Pro Bono Opportunities Guide

ABA Center for Pro Bono web links

ABA Center for Pro Bono Clearinghouse Library

Co-Chairs:
Mark E. Heath (Employer, 2018)
William Bensussen (Union and Employee, 2018)
Amy Hong (Employee, 2018)
Alan A. Symonette (Neutral, 2018)

Join Our Committee