October is pro bono service month. Sponsored by the Alabama State Bar, the celebration is a coordinated statewide effort to showcase the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the state, the system of justice, our communities, and most of all to the clients served. The month is also dedicated to the quest for more pro bono volunteers to meet the ever-growing legal needs of Alabama’s most vulnerable citizens.

Why celebrate?

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 is not met. The consequences of a lack of access to justice are devastating for the poor and weaken a democratic society as a whole. In Alabama last year, more than 422,000 households experienced more than 733,000 legal issues. Low-income households only had legal assistance for approximately 16 percent of these legal problems.

What can I do to help?

Refer anyone who may qualify for assist to MCVLP or the ASB VLP and as an attorney enroll to be a VLP volunteer! As an attorney, what better gift could you give than the gift of time and expertise? Every year, more than 2,000 attorneys volunteer through our state VLPs to give the generous gift of time, service, and expertise to thousands of Alabamians who would not otherwise have access to justice. VLP volunteers bring hope and justice to the under-resourced members of our community. Thank you to those who serve in this important role!