It’s time to get ready for Pro Bono Week 2023! From October 22-28, attorneys and legal staff from across the nation will have numerous opportunities to participate in pro bono work. During the 2023 National Celebration of Pro Bono, spearheaded by the American Bar Association (ABA), the legal community will unite in a week of giving back, while also fostering connections and relationships among pro bono volunteers. Pro Bono Week presents the legal community with the chance to get involved in increasing access to justice, learn about new legal topics, and gain hands-on experience with pro bono work. This week also serves to emphasize the importance of pro bono work and encourages continued participation year-round.
There are many ways in which attorneys and legal staff can participate in Pro Bono Week across the country, including Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programming and other trainings, engaging programs with local judges, and volunteer opportunities. Some noteworthy opportunities include, but are not limited to:
- In Newark, NJ, volunteer lawyers can register for a clinic on driver’s license restoration hosted by Volunteer Lawyers for Justice (VLJ).
- Lawyers can attend a program hosted by West Tennessee Legal Services with Tennessee Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Bivins in Jackson, TN on “Breaking the Stereotype: What Pro Bono Looks Like in 2023” that will debunk myths about pro bono.
- In Concord, NH, transactional attorneys can learn about pro bono alternatives to litigation led by The New Hampshire Bar Association by representing start-up charities during their incorporation.
- At Stand Up For Veterans in Glendale, AZ, volunteers can provide free consultations to Veterans and their families in the areas of Family, Employment, Wills and Estates, Collections, VA Benefits, Criminal, and Landlord/Tenant.
- In Boston, MA, legal professionals can register for a training on the guardianship of minors, with the Volunteers Lawyers of the Boston Bar Association.
- Attorneys in San Franscisco, CA attorneys can learn about pro bono representation and information for unaccompanied children and youth in immigration court in a session by the Practicing Law Institute.
- A more comprehensive list can be found
PBI would also like to highlight our hometown D.C. Pro Bono Week, for which PBI leaders sit on the Planning Committee. The Washington Council of Lawyers (WCL) has prepared an extensive schedule of events. In fact, D.C. kicked off Pro Bono Week early with Pro Bono Goes Local: A Launch Celebration on Friday, October 13. During this event Chief Judge Blackburne-Rigsby of the D.C. Court of Appeals and Chief Judge Josey-Herring of the D.C. Superior Court spoke about critical legal needs in our community, and a panel of inspiring legal services attorneys shared how pro bono attorneys can help in many practice areas including consumer debt, immigration, domestic violence, and public benefits. Throughout the next two weeks, many local legal services organizations in the D.C. community will offer in-person and virtual events, including the D.C. Superior Court Open House and a webinar on Algorithmic Justice, among many more. Legal professions can participate in clinics of various topics, how to bridge the gap between pro bono and low bono, and many more.
This year, PBI will host a session on Building Up In-House Pro Bono Partnerships and Opportunities on October 26. The panelists will discuss how legal departments engage in pro bono, what types of pro bono opportunities are effective for in-house attorneys and staff, and how to partner successfully with legal services organizations and law firms. The panelists include pro bono and legal services leaders at Exelon, Bank of America, DLA Piper, Ayuda, the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Center, and Corporate Pro Bono. We would love to see you there! Please register here.
PBI encourages you to let us know how you will be participating in Pro Bono Week 2023 by emailing us at email@example.com, and letting us know your thoughts on more ways to get involved.