Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Tom Parker issued an order on September 30, 2019, designating October 2019 as Pro Bono Month in the Alabama Judiciary. His order recognizes the valuable contributions made by attorneys offering pro bono services throughout the year and encourages pro bono participation across the state to address the legal needs of low-income Alabamians. In addition, Parker challenged all attorneys to abide by both the letter and spirit of Rule 6.1 by providing pro bono service. As part of the month-long celebration, Chief Justice Parker will host a luncheon for seven attorneys who enroll in a local Volunteer Lawyers Program as new members during the month of October.
Alabama State Bar President Christy Crow stated, “We send our humble thanks to Chief Justice Parker for recognizing all of the amazing work members of the Alabama State Bar do. This month’s celebration reinforces our commitment to the Bar’s motto, Lawyers Render Service, and we appreciate the courts acknowledgement of that service.”
Last month, Governor Kay Ivey also recognized the work of Alabama’s pro bono lawyers, issuing a proclamation declaring October as Pro Bono Month in Alabama.
This year marks the 11th annual Pro Bono Month Celebration, a coordinated statewide effort to showcase the impact pro bono lawyers make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve. Although statewide in breadth, this celebration provides an opportunity for local legal associations to collaboratively commemorate the contributions of lawyers to their communities.
Why pro bono?
The need for legal aid in Alabama is dire. Unlike the criminal defense system, the constitutional guarantee of funding for low-income Alabamians who need civil legal assistance has not yet been met. The consequences of a lack of access to justice are devastating for the poor and weaken a democratic society as a whole. Last year, more than 422,000 households experienced more than 733,000 legal issues with low-income households only having had legal assistance for approximately 16 percent of these legal problems.
What can I do to help those who may need services?
Refer anyone you think can be assisted to the MCVLP to determine eligibility for program services.
How can I get involved?
There are many different ways you can get involved with the MCVLP! Please see below for volunteer opportunities and case referrals or contact Anne Brigance here for further information.
Have YOU accepted a pro bono referral or volunteered at a Clinic? Why not make this Pro Bono Month one to remember!