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 20-26, 2013.
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 http://www.projusticemn.org/volunteer_week/.
As a focal point for Pro Bono Week, on October 22, the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) will present "Integrating Pro Bono," a continuing legal education program featuring remarks by the Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court Lorie S. Gildea and three sessions on pro bono practice. Panelists will discuss the benefits of integrating pro bono work into law practice, explore how technology is being used to connect pro bono clients with lawyers, and review a ground-breaking collaboration between a Twin Cities community organization and law firms to serve diverse clients. More information on this program can be found at http://msba.mnbar.org/Meetings/Meeting?ID=220.
Earlier this year, the MSBA announced a new program, North Star Lawyers, to recognize the work of members who provide 50 hours or more of pro bono work per year. The response by MSBA members was overwhelming. Over 740 members certified that they met the standard, collectively providing over 87,000 hours of service in 2012 with an estimated value of $17,000,000 in free legal assistance to low income clients. More information on North Star Lawyers can be found at http://www.mnbar.org/northstar/.
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.
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