Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service

The mission of the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service 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; and proposes and reviews policy that affects lawyers' ability to provide pro bono legal services.

Our Activities

Our Activities

About Us

OUR ACTIVITIES: Along with its policy initiatives, the Committee actively engages in outreach to the judiciary, government attorney offices, law schools, minority bar associations, small and mid-size law firms, and in-house corporate legal departments. The Committee is also the primary sponsor of the annual Pro Bono Publico Awards. The Committee co-sponsors the annual Equal Justice Conference with the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. The Conference brings together all components of the legal community for plenary sessions, workshops, networking opportunities and special programming.

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Celebrate Pro Bono

Although national in breadth, this initiative provides an opportunity for legal organizations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the vitally important contributions of America's lawyers and to recruit and train the many additional volunteers required to meet the growing demand. With the enthusiastic involvement of national, statewide and local partners, from all components of the legal profession, the National Pro Bono Celebration is creating a wave of positive energy about the pro bono movement in this country. In Honor of the 10th Anniversary of the National Celebration, the Standing Committee is proud to announce Justice Elena Kagan will serve as Honorary Chair of the 2018 National Celebration of Pro Bono!

Justice Kagan's image credited to the Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

To learn more - VISIT the Celebrate Pro Bono website

ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference

The Equal Justice Conference is co-sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service and National Legal Aid & Defender Association. The Equal Justice Conference joins all components of the civil legal aid community to discuss and address issues related to the delivery of legal services to low-income individuals in need of legal assistance.

Learn about - EJC Conference

Pro Bono Policies

State policies that address pro bono can contribute to the expansion of pro bono within a state's borders and beyond. By articulating goals and acceptable procedures relating to pro bono, a state can spread important messages about pro bono and effect increases in pro bono participation and monetary contributions by attorneys in support of pro bono and other legal services initiatives.

Projects & Awards

Read more about the current projects: ABA Free Legal Answers, the Immigrant Child Advocacy Network (ICAN) and the Peer Consulting project. There are also brief descriptions of past projects: the Business Law, Child Custody and Adoption, Medical Legal Partnerships and Rural Pro Bono projects. The ABA Pro Bono Publico Award is presented each year by the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service to honor individual lawyers, law firms, law schools, government attorney offices, corporate law departments & other legal institutions that have enhanced the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor. View the current and past award recipients and the videos presenting their accomplishments.

Projects & Awards

Research & Statistics in Pro Bono

The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service regularly conducts and monitors empirical research regarding the state of pro bono in America. The Committee has conducted three empirical investigations of American volunteer legal service since 2004 to quantify the amount of pro bono work done by U.S. lawyers, identifying factors that can be used to guide new pro bono initiatives and assessing factors that encourage or discourage pro bono service. Additional research will be conducted periodically to further educate pro bono developers on new strategies for increasing the level of lawyer volunteer service.

Examine Statistics & Research in Pro Bono

ABA Pro Bono Committee Releases Empirical Study Report

Issued by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, this study is the committee's third empirical investigation of American volunteer legal service since 2004. The report quantifies the amount of pro bono work done by U.S. lawyers in 2011, describes characteristics of recent pro bono service that can be used to guide new pro bono initiatives and identifies factors that encourage or discourage pro bono service.

Immigrant Child Advocacy Network - ICAN Project

The ABA Working Group on Unaccompanied Minor Immigrants mission is to develop and implement an immediate response to the critical need for pro bono representation of children in removal proceedings. In order to further that mission, the Working Group created the Immigrant Child Advocacy Network (ICAN). This website is the hub for the resources related to pro bono representation of children in removal proceedings and includes a link for attorneys to volunteer to provide legal services to unaccompanied children.

Volunteer for ABA Free Legal Answers in Your State

ABA Free Legal Answers is an online version of the walk-in clinic model where clients request brief advice and counsel about a specific civil legal issue from a volunteer lawyer. Lawyers provide information and basic legal advice without any expectation of long-term representation. The purpose of the website is to increase access to advice and information about non-criminal legal matters to those who cannot afford it.