WASHINGTON, Oct. 29, 2020 — American Bar Association President Patricia Lee Refo sent a letter this week to bar leaders nationwide asking them to mobilize the lawyers of their bar to assist in eviction-related pro bono efforts. The effort is part of the ABA’s new COVID-19 Pro Bono Network, a peer-learning network which will focus initially on the expected massive needs for pro bono legal assistance due to the pandemic. The network is a project of the ABA Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic.
While the ABA anticipates additional areas of unmet civil legal need that will require pro bono assistance, the most immediate need will be to provide help to the large number of people facing the eviction crisis, which has the potential to force 30 million to 40 million people (29%-43% of renter households) from their homes. Pro bono attorneys are needed to provide brief advice and limited- and full-representation in eviction cases. Pro bono attorneys can also help ensure equitable outcomes for tenants in alternative dispute resolution, diversion programs, and settlements.
This effort will lay the foundation for the coordination of pro bono efforts in other subject areas moving forward. The network will support the launch and replication of pro bono models, promote best practices, and identify strategies to overcome common obstacles.
Read the full letter here.
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