October 20, 2020

ABA Celebration of Pro Bono focuses on the pro bono response to COVID-19

WASHINGTON, Oct. 20, 2020 — Lawyers and law firms across the country are participating in volunteer events as part of the National Celebration of Pro Bono, which runs Oct. 25-31. This year, ABA President Patricia Lee Refo is highlighting the need for legal assistance for challenges associated with COVID-19.

“Now more than ever, we all have witnessed the growing need for pro bono legal services as a response to COVID-19,” Refo said.  “During these difficult times, countless lawyers have met the challenge to provide legal assistance during the pandemic. Though many pro bono programs will be virtual this year, the ABA’s commitment to our communities hasn’t changed. As we recognize the power of pro bono lawyers and programs around the country, we know that together, we will continue to make a difference.”

A new feature for Pro Bono Week is ABA Giving Day, Thursday, Oct. 29. The day is organized by the ABA Fund for Justice and Education and developed to assist people with legal services as a result of COVID-19. People can donate money to invest in programs that “counter the impact of COVID-19 and champion racial justice across America.”

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 12 years since, more than 10,000 events have taken place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada.

In the past six years, the national celebration has focused on specific themes, including domestic violence, service to veterans and disaster resiliency.

The theme for this year is Rising to Meet the Challenge: Pro Bono Response to COVID-19. Among the diverse events being held during the National Celebration of Pro Bono are:

  • In Los Angeles, Calif., on Oct. 29, the Los Angeles Law Library will host an online program on accessible voting for people with disabilities during COVID-19, 1:30-2:30 p.m.
  • In Washington, D.C., on Oct. 24, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Washington Council of Lawyers, the American Immigration Lawyers Association and Equal Justice Works will hold an immigration consultation virtual clinic.
  • In Florida, Oct. 21, from 1-4 p.m. , Jacksonville Legal Aid will host a clinic to assist tenants with eviction defense.
  • In Pennsylvania, on Oct. 21 from 9-11 a.m., the Dauphin County Bar Association in Harrisburg will remotely help parents with custody forms.
  • In New York, on Oct. 22, from 10 a.m.-noon, the Unity House of Troy, N.Y., will host a virtual conference on elder abuse and asphyxiation.
  • In Nevada, on Oct. 26, from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., the Nevada Legal Services is holding a Family Law Telephonic Law Fair.
  • In Hawaii, on Oct. 28 from 6-7 p.m., the Hawaii State Bar Association is offering free legal general advice and information.

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 www.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.