The First Annual United States National Pro Bono Celebration is scheduled for October 25 through 31, 2009. Sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, the celebration is a coordinated national effort to showcase the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve. The week is also dedicated to the quest for more pro bono volunteers to meet the ever-growing legal needs of this country's most vulnerable citizens.
The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service chose to launch this important initiative now because of the increasing need for pro bono services during these harsh economic times and the unprecedented response of attorneys to meet this demand.
Although national in breadth, this celebration provides an opportunity for local legal associations across the country to collaboratively commemorate the contributions of America's lawyers and, most important, to recruit additional volunteers to meet the growing need.
One of the guiding principles of the Pro Bono Committee's planning is to support existing local pro bono awards, events and programs. The legal needs of the poor are local issues, and although nationwide, this celebration is intended to have a local focus and impact. Goals for the celebration include:
1. Recognizing the pro bono efforts of America's lawyers
2. Recruiting more pro bono volunteers
3. Mobilizing community support for pro bono.
The Celebrate Pro Bono website at www.celebrateprobono.org is designed to maximize participation in the National Pro Bono Celebration. Please visit often for updates, additional information and assistance.
Anthony H. Barash
Director Emeritus, ABA Center for Pro Bono