When presented with the opportunity to work on a project about which he felt passionately, former Pro Bono Institute summer intern John Treat jumped at the chance. Like many families, his has been affected by autism. It is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the U.S., currently affecting one in 88 children. Families with an autistic member can encounter a multitude of legal challenges over the course of a lifetime, such as those related to education, the criminal justice system, guardianship/conservatorship, healthcare, insurance, housing, and more.
Treat conducted original research and prepared a comprehensive report that documents the meaningful work being done by Law Firm Pro Bono Challenge® Signatories and Law Firm Pro Bono Project Member Firms to help those affected by autism. The report also offers suggestions and guidance for future pro bono projects. Treat’s hope is that his project will inspire pro bono lawyers to get involved. They can make a tremendous difference in ways that range from individual representations to policy advocacy and legislative reform. This is an area where pro bono work can truly improve the lives of eligible individuals and their families, who face many challenges in life, legal and otherwise.
To learn more about pro bono work to help eligible individuals and families affected by autism, visit our Resource Clearinghouse and download “Autism Speaks”: Pro Bono Lawyers Can Help. The PBEye hopes that you will be inspired and get involved.
Hat tip to John Treat, author of this publication, for his significant assistance.