CHICAGO, Oct. 17, 2023— Lawyers and law firms across the country are participating in volunteer events as part of the National Celebration of Pro Bono, which runs Oct. 22-28.
This year, ABA President Mary Smith is highlighting the theme of “Voices of Democracy: Ensuring Justice for All.”
“Without legal representation, individuals have no voice. They are denied the promise of justice for all, which is a crucial element of democracy,” Smith said. She asked lawyers to take part and shine a spotlight on pro bono legal services throughout the nation.
“Together, let’s recognize how pro bono legal help makes a difference in our democracy,” she said.
In the 14 years since the national celebration began in 2009, more than 12,000 pro bono events have taken place in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Canada. Recently, the national celebration has focused on specific themes, including service to victims of domestic violence, veterans, homeless youth and disaster resiliency.
Among the events taking place this year during the National Celebration of Pro Bono are:
- In Longwood, Florida, on Oct. 24 from 2-3 p.m., the Seminole County Bar Association is holding a “Learn Your Rights Miniseries: Can I Seal or Expunge My Arrest Record?” on Zoom, presented by volunteer attorneys and law students.
- At the Los Angeles Law Library on Oct. 24, the organization Public Counsel will provide Individual Counseling on Debt and Bankruptcy from 6:30-8 p.m.
- In Olathe, Kansas, on Oct. 25, Kansas Legal Services and attorneys from T-Mobile will hold an expungement clinic from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- On Oct. 26, the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program is having a Virtual Legal Clinic from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
- On Oct. 27, the Washington Council of Lawyers is holding a Legal Advice & Referral Clinic for veterans with The Veterans Consortium at the DC VA Medical Center from 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
- In Washington, Pennsylvania, on Oct. 27, the Washington County Bar Association and Summit Legal Aid will host a free Pop-up Community Legal Clinic on custody from noon-4 p.m.
Also held during the Celebration of Pro Bono is ABA Giving Day on Thursday, Oct. 26. Organized by the ABA Fund for Justice and Education, Giving Day raises attention and support for more than 50 ABA programs that help others through public service, policy initiatives and education.
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.