MN STATE BAR ASSOCIATION
PRO BONO WEEK HIGHLIGHTS GROWING NEED FOR LEGAL SERVICES AMONG LOW INCOME MINNESOTANS.
Studies say that nearly 80% of the basic legal needs of poor people still remain unmet. It is with this in mind that Minnesota's legal community greets National Pro Bono week, October 22-27, 2012.
The celebration of Pro Bono Week honors the work of Minnesota lawyers who provide pro bono representation throughout the year, and highlights opportunities for pro bono service to low-income and vulnerable clients in civil legal matters. There are numerous events scheduled throughout the state during the week. A calendar is available on www.projusticemn.org.
As a focal point for Pro Bono Week, on October 24th the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) will present "Real Faces of Pro Bono," a continuing legal education program featuring remarks by the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Lorie S. Gildea and a panel of attorneys and their pro bono clients. Panelists will discuss the cases they worked on together and how their lives were impacted by that work. More information on this program can be found at www.mnbar.org.
Four years after the MSBA adopted a Pro Bono Standard, law firms and corporate legal departments are making steady progress towards delivering legal services to persons of limited means, with twenty-two firms and legal departments taking on the challenge. The Standard asks law practices to commit to providing specific levels of pro bono service each year. In addition, next year the MSBA will acknowledge the work of members who provide 50 hours or more of pro bono work per year as part of the new North Star Lawyer recognition program.
Low income Minnesotans who need help solving civil legal matters can find information and referrals at www.lawhelpmn.org. This site is maintained by the Minnesota Legal Services State Support Center.
With over 16,000 members, the MSBA is the state's largest and most influential voluntary organization of attorneys, providing continuing legal education and public service opportunities for lawyers, and assistance to the legal system.
(Contact: Steve Marchese, 612-278-6308, www.mnbar.org)