In response to the many legal issues presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Bar Association has created a Task Force on Legal Needs Arising Out of the 2020 Pandemic.
In April, the task force launched a website that provides information on legal resources and emerging legal issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The website includes:
- Resources on technology for remote service delivery
- Court closings and procedural changes
- Legal needs
- Emerging legal issues
- Public benefits programs
- Pro bono mobilization
It serves as a clearinghouse for valuable information, such as practice tools for remote work; updates on new benefits provided in the CARES Act (the $2.2 trillion stimulus package signed into law in late March); protections against evictions and other actions due to job losses; court closings; and mobilization of pro bono efforts.
Since information on the pandemic and the changes in the legal system are happening quickly, the website will be updated and supplemented frequently.
"Lawyers are providing critical volunteer legal assistance during the pandemic as they do during other times of extraordinary challenge,” ABA President Judy Perry Martinez said. “The ABA Task Force website will serve as a ready resource for those who want to contribute and make a difference as the ABA moves forward in response to the pandemic to help those in need."
The task force, chaired by James Sandman, the former president of the Legal Services Corporation, includes experts in disaster response, health law, insurance, legal needs of families to protect basic human needs, medical and employment benefits, criminal justice, civil rights and social justice.
The group is identifying legal needs arising from the pandemic, making recommendations to address them, and helping to mobilize volunteer lawyers and legal professionals to assist people who need help. The ABA welcomes new information for inclusion on the site. Please contact Denise Dempsey at firstname.lastname@example.org with submissions for consideration.