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October 17, 2019

ABA Celebration of Pro Bono focuses on help for domestic violence survivors

WASHINGTON, Oct. 17, 2019 — Lawyers and law firms across the country are participating in volunteer events as part of the National Celebration of Pro Bono, which runs Oct. 20-26. This year, ABA President Judy Perry Martinez is highlighting the need for legal assistance for survivors of domestic and sexual violence.

“I had the privilege of serving as chair of the ABA Commission on Domestic and Sexual Violence, and I saw firsthand the importance of pro bono legal services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault,” Martinez said. “Legal assistance can literally mean the difference between life and death. Mobilizing lawyers throughout the country to provide services for domestic violence and sexual assault survivors during the National Celebration of Pro Bono is part of our long-term commitment to furthering access to justice. Having the opportunity to serve will make us all better lawyers and better people.”

The National Celebration of Pro Bono began in 2009 to showcase the difference that pro bono lawyers can make to our nation, to our system of justice, to our communities and most of all to the clients they serve. In the 11 years since, more than 8,000 events have taken place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.

In the past five years, the national celebration has focused on specific themes, including service to veterans and homeless youth and disaster resiliency.

Among the domestic violence-focused events during the National Celebration of Pro Bono are:

  • In Washington, D.C., on Oct. 21, the Washington Council of Lawyers will host a tour of D.C. Superior Court domestic violence and criminal divisions, and learn about the domestic violence intake center, crime victims’ rights and more.
  • In Fayetteville, Ark., on Oct. 25, the University of Arkansas School of Law will hold a family law clinic to support survivors of domestic violence.
  •  In Hempstead, N.Y., on Oct 25, Hofstra University School of Law is offering training on representing victims of domestic abuse in divorce proceedings.
  •  In Maryville, Tenn., on Oct. 25, the Blount County Public Library will host a free legal advice clinic for victims of domestic violence.
  •  In Los Angeles on Oct. 25, the Los Angeles County Law Library is offering a free CLE in domestic violence restraining order training.

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.