last several months have been busy for the Dauphin County Bar Association Pro
Bono Program. DCBA hired its first public services coordinator, Sandy Ballard
(former executive director of the Philadelphia Bar Association Homeless Advocacy
began work in late January. In addition to running the pro bono program, Sandy’s
responsibilities include the Lawyer Referral Service and the new Alternative
Dispute Resolution Program. According to Sandy, “It’s all about increasing access to
Annual Awards reception was held to thank pro bono participants.
Rooster Project was launched in May to recruit Middle District bankruptcy
attorneys who are willing to assist pro se petitioners when contacted by Judge
clinics staffed mostly by state government attorneys and law students are held
once a month to assist pro se plaintiffs. Custody Modification Clinics are held
six times a year.
clinics are held on an as needed basis.
docket is offered to pro bono attorneys to minimize their time commitment.
food at regular gatherings (April and September CLEs and June and November Rap
Sessions) is provided as a way to thank pro bono participants.
cooperation and support from bench, bar, legal services and PBA staff member
Roll of Pro Bono Participants for prior year was displayed at the DCBA office,
listed on the PBA and DCBA web sites and included in the DCBA newsletter. Monthly
Honor Roll is listed in each DCBA newsletter.
provide much-needed help to the pro bono program.
support was emphasized in a letter from the president judge signed by all
members of the bench and mailed to all 1,400 members of the DCBA.
(donated by Hershey’s) in Legal Services mug is used as small tokens of
Boys of Sudan Legal Liaison Project was launched to assist 40 refugees as they
attempt to start a new life in Harrisburg.
for Pro Bono Participants, modeled after one from Illinois, was created by pro
of people assisted since from January to August is 211.
of General Council attorneys are very involved and encouraged by the general
counsel. There is an official policy encouraging pro bono service.
Screening Project launched in September to use volunteer paralegal to assist
legal services staff in obtaining background information and screening cases.
were sent to 1,400 DCBA members to obtain feedback on pro bono program. Surveys
also are used at clinics and sent to clients when the matter is closed.
Session was held in June to bring together pro bono attorneys and legal services
staff to discuss issues, ideas and ways to improve.
Stories are included in each quarterly newsletter to highlight the types of
matters pro bono attorneys handle.
are taken alphabetically for pro bono appointments.
method is used to ensure that each DCBA member is given the opportunity to do
pro bono work.
of pro bono attorneys’ participation for January to August is estimated as
discussion of ways to attack the Family Law Deficit (outlined in excellent
December 2002 ABA report) was held at Family Law Section meeting in March 2003.
help is offered by the “Dirty Dozen” expert family law practitioners who are
willing to jump in on an emergency basis.
Pro Bono Questions is a regular feature in DBA monthly newsletter.
of good ideas are shared and discussed with other pro bono coordinators across