2023 Pro Bono Week Preview

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

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Impact of Race in Climate Change

For some, climate change is an issue to deal with later. For others, it is a catastrophe they are dealing with now. by Palak Srivastava, PBI Intern Systematic racism is an issue that protrudes into each and every crevice of society, and climate is no exception. Keeping that in mind, discourse about climate change is mostly about rising temperature or increasing carbon emissions. What is left out of many conversations is who exactly is being affected by such climate trends. Environmental injustice refers to the disproportionate impact of climate change that has befallen low income and minority communities. Though much

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AI & Pro Bono

By PBI Intern Emily Cardona UPDATE: More resources and information about AI and pro bono… Artificial intelligence (AI) has been championed for its potential to enhance pro bono legal services and help close the large gap between available legal aid and the need for services in the community. To access programming on AI, pro bono, and access to justice, visit: Introduction to AI and Access to Justice Setting the Stage: Introduction to AI  Implementation and Use of AI in Pro Bono Responsible Use of AI in Enhancing Pro Bono For more information about AI and pro bono, visit our Social

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Michigan Supreme Court Cites Pro Bono Institute in Recent Decision Allowing Pro Bono Fee Award

By Hena Mehta, Sheehan Summer Law Clerk (2023) On July 26, 2023, The Supreme Court of Michigan issued a landmark decision in Woodman v. Department of Corrections regarding pro bono representation as it relates to an attorney fee award amount.[1] The question of whether a reasonable attorney fee award can be lessened based on representation being provided on a pro bono basis was a case of first impression in the state of Michigan.[2] Among other key points, the highest court made clear in their ruling that “pro bono representation is not an appropriate consideration in determining the reasonableness of attorney

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Pro Bono & Natural Disaster Recovery: Interview with Alameda County Bar’s Tiela Chalmers

By PBI Intern Julianne Alejos Pro Bono Institute (PBI) had the great fortune to interview Tiela Chalmers, the Chief Executive Officer and General Counsel at Alameda County Bar Association, on how pro bono efforts may provide necessary support in natural disaster recovery. The success of the Alameda Legal First Responders program (ALFR) demonstrates how pro bono addresses the rise in demand for an effective disaster legal response network. “Ten years ago, we were still focused on earthquakes,” explains Chalmers, “and we still are working hard on that, but the fires shifted us significantly.” Over the course of 2022, a total

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Afghan Refugee Initiative

The Corporate Pro Bono (CPBO) project is highlighting the legal department of Zurich North America for this month’s Signatory Showcase. In 2022 Zurich partnered with the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) to co-host an Afghan Asylum Clinic with the Women’s Muslim Resource Center. Zurich North America’s Legal Services Department focuses on supporting its businesses by providing representation and legal services for the company, but each year more than 50 percent of the company’s in-house lawyers also help those less fortunate through volunteering their time and expertise to provide pro bono advice on immigration, estate planning, criminal records relief, and other

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Artists’ Brush With The Law

by PBI Intern Palak Srivastava When you hear the name “Andy Warhol,” I am sure most of our minds immediately flip to a can of tomato soup; I know mine just did. An icon of the pop art movement, there is no doubt that Warhol has become a common household name. However, what may be less known in households is the recent Supreme Court case of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts v. Goldsmith, involving a claim by professional photographer Lynn Goldsmith, that Warhol’s silkscreen images based on her photograph of the musician Prince infringed her copyright. The

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Race, Income, and the Effect on Educational Opportunity

When it comes to equity in education, America is still learning. by Emily Cardona, PBI Intern On June 29, 2023, the Supreme Court of the United States issued an opinion ending affirmative action programs at colleges and universities across the country. The decision in Students for Fair Admissions, Inc. v. President and Fellows of Harvard College reversed decades of legal precedent, upending admissions practices that, over the years, were designed to ensure equality and promote diversity in higher education. Inequality in education remains a significant problem in the United States. In this blog article, PBI Intern Emily Cardona shares her

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One Year Post Dobbs; A Reproductive Rights Pro Bono Update

June 24, 2023 marked one year since the Supreme Court decided Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, the decision that overruled the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade and eliminated the constitutional right to abortion.  Since that decision, many pro bono volunteers have sought out opportunities to participate in reproductive rights pro bono. On February 24, at the 2023 PBI Annual Conference, we hosted a session on  Post Roe Reproductive Rights & Pro Bono, taught by Ronald Blum, Partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP; John Freedman, Senior Pro Bono Counsel at Arnold & Porte; Rabia Muqaddam, Senior Staff Attorney

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Update on Right to Counsel in Immigration 

by Hitha Bollu, PBI Intern The PBEye has long followed movements to secure the right to counsel because this right marks essential progress in the struggle for access to justice for all. While we celebrated the 60th anniversary of Gideon v. Wainwright in March, which established the right to counsel in criminal proceedings, there is still no “civil Gideon” in civil and administrative proceedings, including immigration. Therefore, people who are asserting their right to stay in the United States, including those who are detained, do not have a right to access an attorney to help them through the challenging removal proceedings process. Many non-citizens face removal

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