October 22, 2020

ABA Giving Day boosts programs targeting needs arising from COVID-19, racial justice issues

WASHINGTON, Oct. 22, 2020 — ABA Giving Day, an inaugural event on Oct. 29 which coincides with the National Celebration of Pro Bono, is focusing on raising attention and support for eight different areas of the American Bar Association that helps others through public service, policy and education programs.

Spearheaded by the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE), which is the association’s charitable 501(c)3 arm, ABA Giving Day marks a focused effort by the ABA to have an immediate and long-term impact on individuals and communities by supporting delivery of legal services and increased access to justice. The effort marks the first time the ABA has designated a stand-alone day for giving and comes amid the week that the legal profession celebrates its pro bono work.

"Giving Day promotes multiple ways to help ensure a just society by giving lawyers an opportunity to donate their time and their charitable dollars to address the urgent social issues of today,” ABA President Patricia Lee Refo said. “A gift of time or money will support efforts to address race inequities, domestic violence, housing insecurities, the plight of migrants and so much more." 

While FJE raises money for an array of ABA programs, eight areas specifically are highlighted in the inaugural event. They are:

  • Race Equity & Justice Fund, which supports ABA programs dedicated to developing training, resources and policy that work to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and anti-racism in the legal profession and justice system.

  • Legal Opportunity Scholarship Fund, which provides $15,000 scholarships in much needed financial assistance to students of color as they complete law school.

  • Section of Litigation – Judicial Intern Opportunity Program, which improves diversity in the courtroom by providing paid internships for diverse law students to obtain experience and valuable insight into our judicial system.

  • Commission on Women in the Profession, which supports initiatives and research that help women lawyers surmount unexpected and ongoing barriers confronted while seeking equal participation in the profession.

  • Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence, which helps survivors stay safe by providing training to lawyers on protection orders and virtual litigation.

  • Commission on Homelessness & Poverty, which advocates for those experiencing poverty and works to counteract the criminalization of homelessness, particularly amid COVID-19 and a rising number of evictions.

  • Commission on Immigration, which works to ensure due process and fair legal proceedings through direct legal representation, particularly through its highly acclaimed project in South Texas known as ProBar.

  • Free Legal Answers, an online legal aid clinic that helps low-income individuals and families gain access to an attorney. Since its creation in 2016, more than 127,000 legal questions have been handled related to such areas as employment, evictions, insurance claims and obtaining government benefits.

Media interested in learning more about ABA Giving Day or finding out more about these eight and other ABA programs, please email bill.choyke@americanbar.org.

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