Pro Bono Calendar
Pennsylvania Lawyers Making a Difference
DCBA Free Training for Member Certification to Accept Veterans’ Disability Appeals Cases, April 23, 2015
The Dauphin County Bar Association holds training for DCBA members free of charge to become certified to accept veterans’ disability appeals cases on April 25, 2-5:30 p.m., at the DCBA, Harrisburg. Get more information.
Philadelphia Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts New Volunteer Orientation and CLE, March 12, 2015
$10,000 Stipend for Summer 2015 Internship in Environmental, Energy Law; Application Deadline Feb. 20
The PBA Environmental and Energy Law Section is awarding a $10,000 stipend to support a pro bono summer internship in the field of environmental and/or energy law (EEL). First- or second-year law students or third-year law night students who are residents of Pennsylvania or who indicate their intention to practice law in Pennsylvania and who demonstrate an interest in pursuing a career in the field of EEL are eligible. Read more about the award and the application process. Application deadline: Feb. 20.
New Website Launched on Unaccompanied Minors, January 2015
The Immigration Advocates Network and the American Bar Association, in partnership with Pro Bono Net, have announced the launch of a new website, the Unaccompanied Children Resource Center at www.uacresources.org. It was created in response to the influx of unaccompanied immigrant children seeking refuge in the United States. The site brings together the country's leading bar association, pro bono lawyers, and resources from leading immigrants' right organizations to increase access to justice and reduce barriers for children navigating the deportation process. It features training manuals, webinars and practice advisories to help nonprofit legal staff and pro bono attorneys represent children in proceedings. It also includes a national directory of volunteer opportunities for pro bono lawyers, links to key resources, and up-to-date news and events. For the families and guardians of unaccompanied children, the site offers basic legal information, including videos on what to expect in immigration court, and plain language materials on immigration law and procedure. Children and their guardians can search for legal help through a national directory of nonprofit legal service providers. The website is updated regularly with news, upcoming trainings and events, new developments in the law, materials for clients, and highlights on initiatives and partnerships that share information, match children to counsel, and more. Take a moment to explore the site. Questions and feedback can be directed to email@example.com.
Indiana County President Judge Martin Receives Judges Award, Jan. 23, 2015
PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David Trevaskis presented Indiana County President Judge William J. Martin with a Judges Award from the PBA Legal Service to the Public Committee at an Indiana County Bar Association reception, Jan. 23. The awards recognize judges for exceptional contributions to improving civil legal aid in the commonwealth, and Judge Martin was honored for his work in opening his court to the neediest citizens of Indiana County. Shown below with Judge Martin are Laurel Legal Services attorney David Flowers and ICBA President Beverly A. Gazza. Get more information about the awards.
Mortgage Foreclosure Training by Philadelphia VIP, Jan. 23, 2015
Philadelphia VIP will be conducting mortgage foreclosure training for attorneys representing clients in the Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Diversion Program (instituted in April 2008 by the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas) on Jan. 23 from noon to 2:15 p.m. at White and Williams LLP, 1650 Market Street, One Liberty Place, Suite 1800, Philadelphia. The program has provided thousands of homeowners an opportunity to negotiate face to face with lenders’ representatives to save their homes from foreclosure. Philadelphia VIP administers the pro bono legal assistance component of the program, providing training and ongoing support to attorneys who wish to contribute their time to this important effort. Since the inception of the program in June 2008, more than 600 attorneys have been trained and have helped more than 1,000 Philadelphians remain in their homes. The program needs the investment of many pro bono attorneys to help clients negotiate affordable loan modifications and payment arrangements or otherwise resolve clients’ mortgage foreclosure cases. Volunteer attorneys are asked to put their negotiation skills to work; litigating the mortgage foreclosure case is not expected of volunteers. Volunteers need no experience in mortgage foreclosure law to participate. Volunteers will receive a total of two (2) free substantive CLE credits in exchange for representing three clients as temporary volunteers in the program or accepting an ongoing VIP case within six months of the training. To register, visit www.phillyvip.org/content/training-registration-form. For more information on the program, go to https://www.phillyvip.org/content/mortgage-foreclosure.
Tools and Tips for Pro Bono Attorneys: The PFA Case, Dec. 12, 2014
The Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence is presenting a program sponsored by North Penn Legal Services entitled Tools and Tips for Pro Bono Attorneys: The PFA Case on Dec. 12. Get more information.
3rd Annual Legal Aid Fundraiser by BLI Alum McComsey in Center Valley, Nov. 20, 2014
Jill Kelly McComsey, graduate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association's 2011-12 PBA Bar Leadership Institute class and Zone 2 co-chair for the PBA Young Lawyers Division, has led a charge in recent years to raise funds for North Penn Legal Services. She, along with two other young leaders from the Lehigh Valley, Lauren Sorrentino and Alison Wasserman, planned the first annual "Raise a Glass to Justice" event in the summer of 2012. Read about the fun and fund-raising success of the 3rd annual event.
State Supreme Court Elder Law Task Force Issues Report and Recommendations, November 2014
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania Elder Law Task Force has issued its report, including 130 recommendations to "enhance the way Pennsylvania elders interact with the state court system and are protected in cases involving abuse, neglect, guardianship, conservatorship and other matters." Go to the report, posted on the Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania website.
Bankruptcy Cure CLE Program in Clinton County, Nov. 12, 2014
NorthPenn Legal Services is offering The Bankruptcy Cure CLE program on Nov. 12, 2014, at the Clinton County Courthouse. Read more.
USCIS Welcomes More Than 3,000 New Citizens at Naturalization Ceremonies Across the Country, Nov. 7-14, 2014
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will highlight service members, military spouses and veterans taking the Oath of Allegiance to become U.S. citizens at naturalization ceremonies in honor of Veterans Day. In all, USCIS will welcome more than 3,000 new citizens at nearly 40 naturalization ceremonies taking place across the country Nov. 7-14. Read more.
Philadelphia Family Court Moves, Nov. 7
Philadelphia Family Court begins relocating its operations to the new Family Court Building on Nov. 7, 2014. Read the notice.
Immigration Advocates Network e-Conference Information for Nov. 3-7, 2014, on the PAProbono.net Website
Nov. 3: Immigration Advocates Network's Third Annual e-Conference: Screening for Other Relief
Nov. 4: Immigration Advocates Network's Third Annual e-Conference: Unaccompanied Minors and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
Nov. 5: Immigration Advocates Network's Third Annual e-Conference: Common Grounds of Inadmissibility
Nov. 6: Immigration Advocates Network's Third Annual e-Conference: DACA and Administrative Relief: Strategies for Potential Criminal Complications
Nov. 7: Immigration Advocates Network's Third Annual e-Conference: U Visas for Workplace Crimes
Tracy Sheffer Receives 2014 Pro Bono Award, Oct. 31, 2014
Adams County 2104 Pennsylvania Bar Association Pro Bono Award winner Tracy Sheffer is pictured above with (from left) Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice J. Michael Eakin, PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David K. Trevaskis, Adams County Bar President Harold Eastman and MidPenn Legal Services local attorney John Perry. Sheffer was honored at the inaugural Adams County Bench/Bar Conference, Oct. 31, 2014, for consistently accepting "pro bono referrals. In each instance, she has gone to court with the client and helped them resolve their problems. Once she worked for five years on a case to help the client resolve all of her issues. "
Unified Judicial System Offers Online Information to Assist Those Wishing to Represent Themselves in Family Law Matters, Oct. 2, 2014
The Unified Judicial System of Pennsylvania has begun offering online information “to assist the growing number of Pennsylvanians who want to file their own family law cases in courts across the state.” The material cautions that “self-represented litigants are held to the same standards as attorneys” and that self-representation “does not exempt you from understanding and following statewide and local rules of court.” Get more information on the UJS website.
Ernico Award Presented to Dauphin County Court Administrator Freeman, Oct. 1, 2014
The PBA Legal Services to the Public Committee has honored Deborah S. Freeman, court administrator for the Dauphin County Court of Common Pleas, with the Ernico Award. The award celebrates the pro bono accomplishments of Harrisburg attorney Jeffrey A. Ernico and his longstanding commitment to equal justice and to serving those who have nowhere else to turn. An occasional award, it is given to individuals and groups that the committee determines have provided unique service that has resulted in significant improvement in the provision of legal services to the needy. Freeman is the seventh recipient of the award since it was created in 2006. Her award reads: "A champion of access to justice, Deborah S. Freeman has been dedicated to public service throughout her career. Her leadership in opening the courts of Dauphin County to those in need is a model for the Commonwealth to follow." The award was presented by Enrico and Lisa M. Benzie, chair of the PBA House of Delegates.
In the photo above, from left, at the award presentation are PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David Trevaskis, Benzie, Freeman, Ernico and Rhodia Thomas, executive director of MidPenn Legal Services.
8th Annual Shepherds of Peace Dinner & Awards Ceremony in Philadelphia, Oct. 15, 2014
Good Shepherd Mediation Program will host its 8th Annual Shepherds of Peace Dinner & Awards Ceremony on Oct. 15 beginning at 6 p.m. at the Union League of Philadelphia, 140 South Broad Street. This year's honorees include Homer Floyd, former executive director of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission; Seth Rozin, playwright and founder and producing artistic director, InterAct Theatre Company; Michael Viola, family law staff attorney at Philadelphia VIP (Volunteers for the Indigent Program), partner at Shainberg & Viola PC and GSMP volunteer mediator. Tickets are $100 for adults (couple and group discounts available), and $75 for GSMP volunteer mediators, youth and students. For tickets, go to http://www.phillymediators.org/workshops-events/?e=39
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia Celebration of Civil Rights Annual Event, Oct. 14, 2014
The Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia will hold its annual cocktail party event on Oct. 14, 6-8:30 p.m., at The Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street. The event commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the presentation of the annual Thaddeus Stevens Awards, live music from The Enon Tabernacle Fresh Anointing Choir and locally-sourced food provided by Birchtree Catering. Tickets: Regular Price: $150 Public Interest Ticket Waiting List: Those working in the public interest sector are welcome to join a waiting list, where donated tickets will be allotted one week prior to the event on a first-come, first-served basis. To join the waiting list, email rsvp@BandBP.com. To purchase tickets go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/a-celebration-of-civil-rights-2014-annual-event-tickets-11608614679.
5th Annual Justice For All 5K, Oct. 12, 2014
The 5th Annual Justice For All 5K, sponsored by Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, will be on Oct. 12, 2014, in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. Whether you're an experienced runner or a first-timer, the Justice For All 5K will be a great race for you. The course is scenic and fast, USATF-certified (#PA10012WB), and is sanctioned by USA Track & Field. Walkers, including people with strollers and pets, are invited to join in on the fun! Read more about and register for this event here. Can't make it to run or walk? You can donate directly to Community Legal Services by visiting www.clsphila.org/donate.
'Wills for Heroes' County Coordinator Training in Hershey, Sept. 26-27, 2014
"Wills for Heroes," the program co-sponsored by the PBA Young Lawyers Division to provide free estate-planning documents for Pennsylvania first responders and military veterans, is seeking county coordinators. See the online map of counties in need of coordinators. Read more about the role of county coordinators and how to sign up for training Sept. 26 in Hershey. Click here for more program information, including a list of upcoming "Wills for Heroes" events. For more information about the training and “Wills for Heroes” session, contact the PBA's Maria Engles by phone, 800-932-0311, ext. 2223, and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IOLTA Website Redesign, June 2014
Stephanie S. Libhart, executive director of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania's Interest on Lawyers’ Trust Accounts (IOLTA) Board has announced the roll out of IOLTA’s new website at https://www.paiolta.org/. Libhart said she hopes the new website will serve as a better resource to all those working to help the poor access justice in the commonwealth. Under the menu heading Grants you will find information about eligibility, status reports, restrictions, and deadlines for audits and budget revisions. Additionally, there is a Grants category under the FAQS (Frequently Asked Questions) heading at the top of the page.
2014-15 IOLTA Grant Awards for Pro Bono Initiatives
Report Finds Unrepresented Poor in Civil Matters 'Adversely Impacts' Justice for All, May 6, 2014
A report by the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition has concluded that the high number of unrepresented low-income litigants in civil legal matters “adversely impacts the quality of justice for all parties in Pennsylvania courts, negatively impacts the courts’ administration of justice and undermines the rule of law.” The report, released at a meeting of the state Senate Judiciary Committee, recommends creation of an Access to Justice Commission to serve as a vehicle for studying and implementing measures to expand access to justice in the state. Read the news release from the coalition. Get the report.
Monroe County Bar Association CLE: Unemployment Issues for the Pro-Bono Attorney, May 6, 2014
Find out more about the 2014 event. Review the following handouts: Notice of Hearing; List of Issues; Continuance of Hearing. View photos from the 2013 session.
Zagurskie Receives 2013 Pro Bono Award on May 2, 2014
Donald K. Zagurskie of Juniata County received a 2013 Pro Bono Award during a presentation at the historic Juniata County Courthouse on May 2. Members of the Juniata County Bench and Bar celebrated the award presentation with PBA and MidPenn Legal Services staff. The Juniata County bar made $1,000 gift to MidPenn for Juniata County services on behalf of Zagurskie, a longtime pro bono volunteer.
Youth Court CLE Presentation in Philadelphia, April 23, 2014
The Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Pro Bono Office, in partnership with the U.S. Attorney's Office and the Youth Court Support Center at Education Works, hosts a free Youth Court CLE seminar on April 23, 1-4 p.m. Registration opens at 12:30 p.m. at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, 615 Chestnut Street, 8th Floor Conference Room (you will go through security and need ID to enter), Philadelphia. The seminar will feature distinguished speakers from the legal, educational and medical communities who will explore youth courts as a preventative strategy to reduce violence and terminate the school-to-prison pipeline. There is no charge to attend. For attorneys, one hour of ethics and two hours of substantive CLE from the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board has been approved through the Pennsylvania Bar Institute. If you plan to attend, please contact David Trevaskis at email@example.com or 717-571-7414. Please include your Supreme Court ID number for the CLE. Non-attorneys are welcome and may register through the same process. Click on the following links for more information.
Pro Bono Fair, Allegheny County, March 19, 2014
The Public Service Committee of the Allegheny Bar Association holds its Inaugural Pro Bono Fair on March 19, 5-7:30 p.m., at Olive or Twist, 140 Sixth Street, Pittsburgh. Representatives of the various Pro Bono Center programs will be available to explain how the programs work and answer questions on getting involved. For more Information, contact Barb Griffin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Immigration Equality’s Asylum 101 Program, Feb. 10, 2014
A CLE Seminar titled Immigration Equality's Asylum 101 will be presented by Dechert LLP and Immigration Equality on Feb. 10 in New York City Washington, D.C. Find our more at www.paprobono.net/events/event.507259-Immigration_Equalitys_Asylum_101.
Upcoming ‘Wills for Heroes’ Events, 2014
The PBA Young Lawyers Division and the Wills for Heroes Foundation, with sponsorship by Ballard Spahr LLP, are holding upcoming events across Pennsylvania. At these events, free wills and powers of attorney are prepared for police officers, firefighters and other first responders who risk their lives every day to make sure our communities are safe. Programs are staffed by lawyer volunteers and are conveniently offered to first responders at meeting halls and police and fire stations. At these events volunteer lawyers will be conducting a program for all active and retired Pennsylvania first responders, all sworn personnel and their spouses, partners or significant others (please note that proof of affiliation will be requested at the event). For more information on the program, visit the Wills for Heroes Foundation at www.willsforheroes.org or the PBA website at www.pabar.org/public/yld/Projects/willsforheroesyld.asp.
Feb. 1, Bucks County: Trevose Fire Company at 4900 Street Road, Trevose beginning at 11 a.m. If you have questions about this event, contact Sandy Romaszewski at email@example.com.
Feb.8, Pittsburgh: For the City of Pittsburgh Police, at the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, 1203 Western Ave., from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you have questions about this event, contact Angel Revelant at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 8, Lancaster County: Jointly sponsored by the Lancaster Area Paralegal Association (LAPA) and the Lancaster Bar Association (LBA), the event will be held at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center, 101 Champ Blvd., Manheim. For information on events in Lancaster County, contact Cindy Geib at CindyGParalegal4@aol.com or Eric Rothermel at email@example.com.
March 29, Montgomery County: Horsham Fire Co. No. 1 at 315 Meetinghouse Rd., Horsham. If you have questions about the program, contact Lisa Shearman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 5, Bucks County: Bucks County Public Safety/Emergency Services Training Center at 1760 S. Easton Road, Doylestown, beginning at 11 a.m. If you have questions about this event, contact Sandy Romaszewski at email@example.com.
April 12, Philadelphia: Northeast Regional Campus of the Community College of Philadelphia, Third Floor, located at 12901 Townsend Road, beginning at 11 a.m. If you have questions about this event, contact Dan McKenna at firstname.lastname@example.org or Lisa Shearman at LShearman@hrmml.com.
April 26, Bucks County: Community Fire Company #1, 333 Delaware Road, Riegelsville, beginning at 11 a.m. If you have questions about this event, contact Sandy Romaszewski at email@example.com.
May 31, Lancaster County: Jointly sponsored by the Lancaster Area Paralegal Association (LAPA) and the Lancaster Bar Association (LBA), the event will be held at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center, 101 Champ Blvd., Manheim. For information on events in Lancaster County, contact Cindy Geib at CindyGParalegal4@aol.com or Eric Rothermel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sept. 6, Lancaster County: Jointly sponsored by the Lancaster Area Paralegal Association (LAPA) and the Lancaster Bar Association (LBA), the event will be held at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center, 101 Champ Blvd., Manheim. For information on events in Lancaster County, contact Cindy Geib at CindyGParalegal4@aol.com or Eric Rothermel at email@example.com.
Dec. 6, Lancaster County: Jointly sponsored by the Lancaster Area Paralegal Association (LAPA) and the Lancaster Bar Association (LBA), the event will be held at the Lancaster County Public Safety Training Center, 101 Champ Blvd., Manheim. For information on events in Lancaster County, contact Cindy Geib at CindyGParalegal4@aol.com or Eric Rothermel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
'Making a Difference' for the Public Good, 2014
The Pennsylvania Bar News PBA-member publication features the "Making a Difference" column, which highlights the work of Pennsylvania lawyers providing extraordinary pro bono legal services.
PBA Joins in Partnership to Provide Legal Help for Low-Income Consumers Filing Utility Complaints, 2014
The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) joins Widener University School of Law, the PBA Pro Bono Program and low-income advocates in publicizing a program to help low-income consumers receive legal help in navigating the complaint process before the PUC. Find out more about the program.
York County Bar Foundation Annual Report for 2013
Webinars on Youth Sponsored by Philadelphia’s Juvenile Law Center, December 2013
"Transition Planning for Youth with Disabilities in the Child Welfare and Juvenile Justice Systems," Dec. 10; "Education for Kids in Care: What Judges and Attorneys Need to Know," Dec. 16. For more information and to register, click on the respective webinar titles in the December 2013 calendar on the Juvenile Law Center website.
Delco CLE-A-Thon, Dec. 13, 2013
PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David K. Trevaskis will conduct ethics CLE as part of Delco CLE-A-Thon on Friday, Dec. 13. Click here for more on the event, which raises funds for legal aid.
Public Interest Law Day in Philadelphia, Dec. 11, 2013
The Public Interest Section of the Philadelphia Bar Association holds its annual Public Interest Day on Dec. 11, 2013, offering six CLE credits, one of which may be applied toward ethics. Find out more.
Dauphin County Bar Association Unveiled Veterans Disability Referral Service, Dec. 3, 2013
Dec. 3, 2013, marked a celebration more than three years in the planning as the Dauphin County Bar Association (DCBA) unveiled its Veterans Disability Referral Service, which it created in partnership with the PBA Military and Veterans’ Affairs (MVA) Committee and the PBA Pro Bono Office. Twenty-two local lawyer recruits freshly trained in October by retired Widener Law professor Tom Reed and Harrisburg attorney Jeremiah Underhill, both MVA Committee members, are now serving veterans in the midstate region. Underhill, who ran Widener's Harrisburg Veterans Law Clinic from 2007 until its closure in 2010, had been trying to organize a successor service to help vets with appeals ever since. Under the new program, and according to government guidelines, prospective clients must have been denied VA disability benefits and be ready to appeal those refusals before attorneys in the referral program can offer help. Veterans whose incomes are at or below 125 percent of the federal poverty level will be eligible for free aid and government-set contingency fee rates will apply for less needy clients. Ten percent of the income from contingency fees is to go back into the program. Underhill notes the importance of representation: "If a person has an attorney, they're 25 times more likely to get a positive outcome." Veterans in need of help and lawyers interested in joining the program can call the DCBA at 717-232-7536. Pictured below are Underhill (front, fourth from left), Dauphin County Bar Executive Liz Simcox (front, fifth from left) and other leaders of the DCBA program at a reception in honor of the program.
Lebanon County Bar Association Name Pro Bono Award for Warner, November 2013,
At the annual meeting of the Lebanon County Bar Association in November 2013, it was the unanimous vote of the membership to name the annual PBA Pro Bono Recognition Award the William H. G. Warner Pro Bono Attorney Award, honoring Warner’s commitment to legal services and to working to make pro bono legal service what it is today in Lebanon County. Read some of Warner's documents illustrating his commitment to the field.
Widener Law School’s Medical-Legal Partnership Project in Chester, 2013
Widener Law School has been running the Medical-Legal Partnership Project in Chester, Pa., for the past four years as a field component to a poverty-law class. The program has provided free legal assistance (provided by staff attorneys assisted by students in law, psychology, public health and psychology) to more than 200 low-income individuals. Most have been participants in Crozer-Keystone Healthy Start and Crozer-Keystone Nurse Family Partnerships, which provide social services to young and first-time mothers. By providing free legal assistance in public benefits and consumer, housing and family law matters, the project has improved the health and well-being of its clients. More detail about the partnership can be found on the MLP program website, www.helpmlp.org. Talking points about the program and an article describing participation in it are attached.
Pro Bono Rocks! Battle of the Attorney Bands in Pittsburgh, Nov. 9, 2013
Tickets are now on sale for Pro Bono Rocks! Battle of the Attorney Bands to be held at The Showroom, Dave & Buster's at the Waterfront in Pittsburgh, Nov. 9, 6:30-11 p.m. Proceeds benefit the Pro Bono Center of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, which creates and manages programs that match low-income individuals facing critical legal issues with volunteer attorneys and legal services programs. Find out more about the event on the foundation website. To become a sponsor, or for more information about the event, contact Erin Rhodes at (412) 402-6641 or email@example.com.
Wills for Heroes Clinics, Lebanon County on Nov. 2 and Clearfield County on Nov. 9, 2013
The Pennsylvania Bar Association Young Lawyers Division and the Wills for Heroes Foundation, with sponsorship by Ballard Spahr LLP, are holding upcoming events across Pennsylvania. At these events, free wills and powers of attorney are prepared for police officers, firefighters and other first responders who risk their lives every day to make sure our communities are safe. On Nov. 2, a program will be held in Lebanon County at the Quentin Volunteer Fire Company, 20 South Lebanon St., Quentin. For more information on the program, contact Christina Fisher at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Nov. 9, a program will be held in Clearfield County at the Dubois Area United Way, 223 South Jared St., Dubois. Read more about the Wills for Heroes Foundation. Read more about Wills for Heroes on the PBA website.
Andrew Alston Wins First Law Student Pro Bono Partner Award, Nov. 1, 2013
The PBA presented Andrew Alston its first Law Student Pro Bono Partner Award on Nov. 1, 2013, in a special ceremony at the Defender Association of Philadelphia. Alston spent six years with the association — starting as a volunteer, then as a paralegal and now as an assistant public defender, having now graduated from Temple University’s James E. Beasley School of Law and recently passing the bar Chief Defender Ellen Greenlee, with Alston in the photo above, presented the award along with PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David K. Trevaskis. Alston’s nomination noted that “his whole reason for going to law school was to serve the most needy of our fellow Pennsylvanians,” a task he has been working on since he was a college student. The range of Alston’s activities as a law student, from programs in the Philadelphia Traffic to work with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, show his commitment and underscore the significant contribution law students can make to accessing justice for the poor. Alston has worked with ex-offenders re-entering society and with veterans facing a wide variety of legal issues. Those programs continue to thrive with volunteer work from area law students from Temple, Drexel, and Rutgers. Andrew has also volunteered for public education programs run by both the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Bar associations. At a time when we are celebrating the 50th anniversary of Gideon but finding much more needs to be done on both the criminal and civil sides of the law to realize the promise of that case for access to justice for all, Alston’s example is an inspiring rebuttal to the cynics who claim there is nothing we can do to change the picture. Congratulations to a great inaugural pick for this award!
Myers Testifies Before Senate Committee on Civil Legal Representation of the Indigent, Oct. 29, 2013
PBA President Forest N. Myers was back in Pittsburgh Oct 29 to testify in the third and final state Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing on civil legal representation of the indigent. The PBA is among the organizations that are part of a broad-based "Civil Legal Justice Coalition" created to work collaboratively on exploring strategies to improve access to justice. Read the hearing agenda and Myers' testimony.
Pro Bono Week Fills October 2013 with Events
Check it out.
Castille Addresses Civil Legal Aid Needs at Legal Services Corp. Event in Pittsburgh, Oct. 20-22, 2013
Read the article on Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille’s remarks in the Nov. 15, 2013, issue of the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Lawyers Journal, page 6.
Veterans Disability Referral Service Training in Harrisburg, Oct. 4, 2013
Professor Tom Reed and Jeremiah Underhill conduct Veterans Disability Referral Service Training at the Dauphin County Bar Association, Harrisburg, on Oct. 4. Go to the county bar website for information and to register.
Fall 2013 Pro Bono Events
York County is moving forward with pro bono this fall. As an outgrowth of the York County Bar Association’s (YCBA) Legal Services Task Force (LSTF), all 15 recommendations were adopted on Aug. 30, with an investment of $427,833 over a 2.25 year period for the YCBA's access to justice initiatives. Also attached are the presentation and final report. The York County Bar Foundation’s (YCBF) 2012 annual report provides a snapshot of the YCBA's programs and growth. The following three Pro Bono Week events are planned for October:
Oct. 22: Evening YCBF reception for major donors and major donor prospects featuring guest speaker Sharon Browning.
Oct. 23: 8 a.m. "Thanks for Giving Breakfast" – Buffet breakfast for all 2012 pro bono caseworkers and alternative service fee donors featuring a short program guest speaker Sharon Browning – go to the invitation.
10 a.m. Ribbon Cutting & Launch of the York County Court of Common Pleas Self Represented Litigant Help Center – In conjunction with the YCBF, the York County courts and the York County Economic Alliance (YCEA), the YCBA will conduct a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Self Help Center to be located in the York County Judicial Center. Attendees will include the County Commissioners, all state representatives, court-related officials, members of the bench and bar, YCEA staff and YCEA Ambassadors (volunteers from the business community).
If you have questions about these events, contact Victoria A. Connor, chief executive officer, YCBA/YCBF, 137 East Market Street, York, Pa. 17401; email email@example.com; Web: www.yorkbar.com; office: (717) 854-8755, Ext. 206; cell: 717-683-5197.
LSC Board to Honor Pennsylvania Programs at Pittsburgh Meeting, Oct. 20-22, 2013
The national Legal Services Corp. (LSC) board meeting in Pittsburgh Oct. 20-22 will include a program honoring LSC programs from across Pennsylvania. That event, the Pro Bono Awards Reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 21, will recognize the eight law firms and individual lawyers listed below. The reception will be held at the K&L Gates law firm, with speakers to include former Pennsylvania Governor and U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh and U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah. Also on Oct. 21: In the morning there will be two distinguished panels discussing the importance of civil legal aid to the orderly functioning of the civil justice system, followed by a luncheon. The panels will be held in the Pennsylvania Supreme Court courtroom. The luncheon will be held at the Renaissance Hotel. The pro bono honorees are:
James P. DeAngelo, nominated by MidPenn Legal Services Inc.
Mary R. Bates, nominated by Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services Inc.
Ronald R. Bolig, nominated by Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
Gregory L. Heidt, nominated by Northwestern Legal Services
Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership, nominated by Neighborhood Legal Services Association
Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Harris, Waters and Waffenschmidt, nominated by North Penn Legal Services Inc.
Joseph A. Sullivan, nominated by Philadelphia Legal Assistance Center
Westmoreland Legal Foundation, nominated by Laurel Legal Services Inc.
AOPC Report on Self-Represented Litigants, Aug. 26, 2013
York County Bar Association and Foundation Legal Services Task Force Final Report, June 6, 2013
Read the report. Go to the task force recommendation implementation timeline for 2013-15.
Lackawanna Pro Bono's 7th Annual Golf Tournament, June 3, 2013
Read the announcement; get the registration form.
Castille, Myers Speak at PBA/PBI 'Spring into Pro Bono Action' CLE Program, May 14, 2013
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille (below left) participated in the statewide pro bono conference and CLE program sponsored by the PBA Legal Services to the Public Committee and the Pennsylvania Bar Institute (PBI) at the PBI Conference Center, May 14. Also during the event, newly installed PBA President Forest N. Myers (below right) said that pro bono and access to justice are top priorities during his one-year term. See the event brochure. Read the conference program. Read more about the PBA pro bono program.
Middle District Bankruptcy Bar Association Pro Bono Program Information, May 2013
Volunteers Needed for Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend 2013, April 20-21
Join teams of volunteer attorneys in providing free assistance to eligible lawful permanent residents who wish to apply for U.S. citizenship during Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend in the counties of southeastern Pennsylvania. Click here for more information, including training dates, the list of Pro Bono Citizenship Weekend sites and the volunteer attorney registration form.
Philadelphia Bar Gets Access to Justice Grant, March 21, 2013
The Philadelphia Bar Association has received a grant from the American Bar Association's Access to Justice Commission Expansion Project to promote the creation of a new Access to Justice Commission. The grant application was submitted by the Philadelphia Bar Association's Civil Gideon and Access to Justice Task Force. Read more on the Philadelphia bar's website.
Jewell Honored with PBA's Ernico Award at Lancaster Event, Feb. 27, 2013
The Pennsylvania Bar Association's Legal Services to the Public Committee honors late Lancaster lawyer Kenneth R. Jewell with its Jeffrey A. Ernico Award. Read more about the award.
In the photo above Caroline Hoffer, Chair of the Memorial Resolution Committee, accepts the award for Jewell's widow, Rosemary, from Jeffrey A. Ernico, with, to her left, Matthew J. Creme Jr., PBA immediate past president, and Samuel W. Milkes, executive director of the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, in attendance.
Pennsylvania Bar Foundation Seeks Nominees for 2013 Goffman Awards
The Louis J. Goffman awards recognize the finest pro bono providers; go to the foundation website for information and nomination form; nominations deadline: April 1.
Castille, DCBA Honor Pro Bono Efforts, Feb. 19, 2013
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille was on hand as PBA staff attorneys were among those honored at the Dauphin County Bar Association's Pro Bono Reception recognizing local pro bono attorneys on Feb. 19. Gabriele Miller Wagner, PBA pro bono program administrative assistant, also was honored as a non-attorney partner for her volunteer work with the PBA Young Lawyers Division's Wills for Heroes program. Shown below at the event are, from left, Jonathan Kunkel, DCBA president; Castille; Mary Catherine Scott, Widener University School of Law professor and pro bono attorney; Sandy Ballard, DCBA Public Service Committee chair; and Dauphin County President Judge Todd A. Hoover.
York County Bar's Connor on Central Pennsylvania Pro Bono Efforts, February 2013
Read the article by Victoria A. Connor, CEO of the York County Bar Association/York County Bar Foundation, titled "What will become of pro bono? Pro bono community partnerships making a difference in Central PA," from the Central Penn Business Journal supplement, Feb. 1, 2013.
ABA Center for Pro Bono Exchange Offers Pro Bono Webinar Roundup, January 2013
The ABA's Center for Pro Bono Exchange contains a description of several webinars that may be of interest to pro bono practitioners and prospective pro bono practitioners. Read more on the probono.net website. Go to the exchange.
Gaetani Joins Allegheny County Bar Foundation, January 2013
The Allegheny County Bar Foundation has announced that attorney Elizabeth Parker Gaetani has joined the foundation as assistant pro bono coordinator. Read more on the probono.net website. Gaetani can be reached at (412) 402-6628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
January/February 2013 Lawyer Magazine Features Articles on Pro Bono Service
Read "Ghost of a Chance: 'Ghostwriting' is a form of limited representation for the disadvantaged," by Samuel W. Milkes and Joseph A. Sullivan, and "The Role of the Pro Bono Lawyer," by Dick Thornburgh, as featured in the PBA's member magazine.
PLAN Program Facts though 2012
Read program facts about the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) of civil legal aid programs that provide legal representation to low income Pennsylvanians who have nowhere else to turn.
Dauphin County Pro Bono Guardian Monitor Sherry Baskin Receives 2012 PBA Pro Bono Award
'Education Issues for Pro Bono Lawyers' CLE Program in Pittsburgh, Nov. 26, 2012
A training program titled "Education Issues for Pro Bono Lawyers: Project PEACE for Educators and Lawyers" will be held in Pittsburgh, Nov. 26, 2012. The program has been approved by the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Board for three hours of substantive law, practice and procedure CLE credit and one hour of ethics, professionalism or substance abuse CLE credit. Find out more.
Washington County Honors Pro Bono Attorneys, Oct. 29, 2012
More Than 700 Events, 'Video Quilt' Featured During Celebration of National Pro Bono Week, Oct. 21-27, 2012
As part of the American Bar Association's 2012 celebration of National Pro Bono Week (Oct. 21-27), a JUST Stories "video quilt" is featured on the National Pro Bono Celebration website, offering stories from public interest advocates about their work. Click here for videos by Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille; Cathy Carr, executive director of Community Legal Services in Philadelphia; Todd A. Hoover, president judge, Dauphin County; and others from Pennsylvania. For a list of and links to some of the many events planned across Pennsylvania for 2012 Pro Bono Week, click here. From free legal clinics and other activities in Anchorage, Alaska, to Miami, and from Montpelier, Vt., to Los Angeles, more than 700 pro bono events in nearly every state - conducted by more than 300 law firms, bar associations, courts, law schools, corporations and other groups - are anticipated during the week of the national celebration and throughout October.
National Pro Bono Task Force Releases Findings in New Report, October 2012
A Pro Bono Task Force convened by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Board of Directors has released its report, including recommendations on the formation of a professional association of pro bono coordinators at LSC-funded organizations and asking Congress to create a new Pro Bono Innovation/Incubation Fund modeled on LSC's successful Technology Initiatives Grant (TIG) program. Read about the release of the report on the LSC website; get the report.
First Judicial District 2012 Pro Bono Roll of Honor
In recognition of the importance of pro bono work by lawyers to ensuring justice for the citizens of Philadelphia, the First Judicial District plans to will publish a Pro Bono Roll of Honor for 2012 and honor those listed at a reception on Oct. 24. Find out more.
Gov. Thornburgh, PBA President Wilkinson and PBA Pro Bono Office Take Part in 2012 Pro Bono Week Celebration in Berks County, Oct. 23
Former Pennsylvania governor and U.S. Attorney General Dick Thornburgh is the keynote speaker for the Recognition of the Berks Pro Bono Team luncheon and seminar in Reading during 2012 National Pro Bono Week on Oct. 23. Access the program for the event, which also includes a PBA Pro Bono Award presentation by PBA President Thomas G. Wilkinson, Jr. and CLE seminars by PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David K. Trevaskis.
National Organization of Veterans' Advocates New Practitioner Session, Oct. 11
The National Organization of Veterans' Advocates will be presenting its New Practitioner Session on Oct. 11 as part of the group's Fall Conference on Oct. 11-13, 2012, at the Sheraton Society Hill, Philadelphia. Click here for more information.
Sweeten the Pot: A Chocolate Event to Benefit Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Oct.4
Click here to find out more about this event to be held at the Delaware County Bar Association, Media, Pa.
Northampton County Bar Association Approves $50,000 for North Penn Legal Services, September 2012
Click here for the NPLS news release.
2102 ACBA Pro Bono Achievement Award Winners to be Honored Sept. 27
The Allegheny County Bar Association has announced the winners of the 2012 ACBA Pro Bono Achievement awards. These awards recognize individuals, law firms, legal departments and organizations that have made significant contributions to enhancing the provision of free legal services to low-income residents of Allegheny County in the past year. Click here for more information, including the list of this year's winners to be recognized at the 2012 Fellows Grand Reception on Sept. 27, with the featured speaker to be Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Charlie Batch.
Pennsylvania Service Connect Team Event in Harrisburg, Sept. 22, 2012
The Pennsylvania Service Connect Team (PSC) is a new initiative developed by the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to help former servicemen and servicewomen overcome difficulties in returning to civilian life. Read the announcement and invitation to the PSC's First Annual Service, Support & Resource Showcase Event, to be held Sept. 22.
ABA Military Pro Bono Project 2012 Summer Newsletter: Pro Bono Attorneys
Click here for the newsletter of Aug. 23.
Click here for the ABA Military Pro Bono Project news page.
North Penn Legal Services 'Raise a Glass to Justice' Benefit, Aug. 2, 2012
A benefit and awareness event in support of North Penn Legal Services will be conducted by members of the PBA Bar Leadership Institute on Aug. 2 at the Promenade Shops, Center Valley. Click here for details.
Community Education Materials on Elimination of General Assistance, Summer 2012
Under the state budget recently enacted, many of those receiving cash assistance will lose it by Aug. 1, 2012. Click here for information on the changes, as posted on the Community Legal Services of Philadelphia website.
'Pro Bono from Your Desk': An Introduction for Volunteer Attorneys on Providing Pro Bono Legal Services through the Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine, July 13, 2012
Pennsylvania SeniorLAW HelpLine, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Bar Association and Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc., will be sponsoring a free CLE volunteer attorney training on July 13. Titled "Pro Bono from Your Desk," it will be held at Arcadia University, King of Prussia. Click here for details.
Voter ID Clinic with Homeless Advocacy Project and Exelon Pro Bono Volunteers, June 6, 2012
On June 6 Philadelphia's Homeless Advocacy Project joined with Exelon Pro Bono Volunteers to conduct a clinic on Pennsylvania's new voter ID law. See photos from the event below. Click here for information on the work of the Homeless Advocacy Project.
Delaware County Bar Expands Pro Bono Efforts, Summer 2012
With the hiring of a part-time pro bono coordinator and other initiatives, the Delaware County Bar Association is expanding its pro bono efforts. Read more.
2012-13 IOLTA Grant Awards for Pro Bono Initiatives
Lieber Named 2012-13 Chair of ABA Commission on IOLTA
PBA Secretary Penina Kessler Lieber has been named chair of the American Bar Association Commission on Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA), appointed by Incoming ABA President Laurel Bellows to a one-year term that begins in August. Lieber is the first Pennsylvanian to serve as chair of the commission. The ABA commission is a nine-member body that supports the operations and expansion of IOLTA programs nationally. Click here for more information on the commission. Lieber is also currently chair of the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board and will complete her second three-year term on the board on Sept. 1, 2012.
'The Wills Project' - Training in Essential Personal Document, Pittsburgh, June 22
Neighborhood Legal Services Association will be presenting its Summer 2012 Seminar titled "The Wills Project" - Training in Essential Personal Documents in Pittsburgh, June 22, 2012. The session offers 2.5 substantive CLE credits. Get more information.
Washington State Supreme Court Adopts Limited License Legal Technician Rule, June 2012
The Washington Supreme Court has adopted a Limited License Legal Technician Rule authorizing non-attorneys to practice law in limited areas and provide limited services, effective Sept. 1, 2012. Click on the following links for more information: Washington State Supreme Court press release; Limited License Legal Technician Rule.
Pro Bono Conference and CLE Program, May 21, 2012
Join co-sponsors the PBA's Legal Services to the Public Committee and PBI for "Making a Difference: How to do pro bono without it taking over your life (and practice)" to learn a variety of ways you can answer the pro bono call to service. Click here for information posted on the PBI website.
In May 1, 2012, Speech New York Chief Judge Announces Pro Bono Requirement for Bar Admission
In his Law Day 2012 speech, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced the requirement that lawyers must show that they have performed at least 50 hours of law-related pro bono service as a requirement for admission to the New York State bar. "We turn over a new page in the bar admission process in New York by requiring each and every applicant for admission to contribute 50 hours of participation in law-related and uncompensated pro bono service before they can practice in New York State," said Lippman. Click here for the text of Lippman's speech, as published in the New York Law Journal. Click here for a related article in The New York Times.
PBA's Pro Bono Coordinator and Past President Participate in Arcadia University High School Civics and Law Academy, May 3, 2012
White House Forum on the State of Civil Legal Assistance, April 17, 2012
Poverty Data, U.S. Census American Community Survey's Five-Year Estimate, 2006-2010, for Income at or Below Poverty Level
Southeast Pennsylvania Five-County Area; Bucks County; Chester County; Delaware County; Montgomery County; Philadelphia County
Penn State Dickinson Public Interest and Pro Bono Advocates Awards Events, April 9 and 12, 2012
Youth Courts Paper Presented March 16, 2012
As part of the 2012 Edward V. Sparer Symposium at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law, Gregg Volz, a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow and public interest lawyer, presented a paper describing the support that lawyers, especially members of the PBA, have provided to the youth courts movement. The paper, "Youth Courts: Lawyers Helping Students Make Better Decisions," was co-written with David K. Trevaskis, PBA pro bono coordinator, and Rachel Miller, a third year law student at Penn. Click here for the paper, part of a symposium titled "Coming of Age Against the Odds: Advocating for At-Risk Youth," as posted to the Penn law website.
Volunteers Needed for Pro Bono Citizenship Day in Philadelphia, March 31, 2012
Public Interest Week at Penn Law, March 12-16, 2012
General Counsel Letter Thanks PBA for Support of Disaster Relief, Feb. 29, 2012
ABA GP Solo Publication Focuses on Pro Bono, Jan./Feb. 2012 Issue
March 2012 Events, As Posted to the Probono.net Website
Click on the following links for information: www.paprobono.net/events/week.2012-03-12;
Volunteer Attorneys Needed for Pro Bono Citizenship Day 2012, March 31
Pro Bono Training on How to Handle Veteran's Benefits Case, Feb. 28, 2012
Philadelphia's Homeless Advocacy Project (HAP) will hold a pro bono training program titled "How to Handle Veteran's Benefits Case" on Feb. 28 from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. It will be held at the offices of White and Williams, 1650 Market St., One Liberty Place, Suite 1800, Philadelphia. To register, contact Cary Moritz at (215) 523-9587 or email@example.com. Click here for more information on the HAP website.
PLAN Martin Luther King Jr. Summer Internship Program 2012 Brochure
Click here for the program brochure.
J. Gregg Miller of Philadelphia Receives Inaugural David T. Sykes Award, Jointly Presented by the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Bankruptcy Conference and the Consumer Bankruptcy Assistance Program, Jan. 20, 2012
Super Lawyers Pro Bono Award Recipients Include Villanova Student, January 2012
The recently announced list of recipients of the Super Lawyers' 2011 Pro Bono Awards includes Villanova University School of Law student John Rafferty. Recipient of the second-place award, Rafferty was recognized for his efforts to counter human trafficking in "dedicate[ing] his time and legal talents to anti-trafficking advocacy and training in Ecuador, the Republic of Georgia, Washington, D.C., and in his home city with the Philadelphia Anti-Trafficking Coalition. Click here for more on the awards.
January/February 2012 Issue of The Pennsylvania Lawyer Magazine Features Article on Post-Storm Pro Bono
The recent article titled "Out in the Community Like Never Before" by Don Sarvey, Pennsylvania Lawyer magazine editorial director, recounts the extensive efforts of lawyers across the commonwealth in providing pro bono assistance to the victims of Pennsylvania flooding in 2011. Click here for the article.
PLAN Report on Effect of Recent Funding Cuts, January 2012
According to data from the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, cuts in various funding sources of legal aid present "particular challenges" in the current fiscal year. Click here for the PLAN "snapshot."
Immigration Advocates Network Introduces New Website, January 2012
With support from the Four Freedoms Fund, a new website has been created by the Immigration Advocates Network (IAN), a collaborative effort of leading immigrants' rights organizations, and Pro Bono Net, one of IAN's founders and the national nonprofit that works to increase access to justice through innovative uses of technology. Click here to reach the new site.
Pennsylvania IOLTA Board Survey of the Provision of Civil Legal Assistance of IOLTA-Funded Organizations for Calendar Year 2009 or Fiscal Year Ending in 2010
Hope for the Holiday Toy Drive, Deadline Dec. 15, 2011
The York County Bar Association/Foundation, the Berks County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center (PIRC) want to help ensure that the children housed at the Berks Family Shelter receive a gift in celebration of the upcoming holidays. Click here for information on how to donate.
2011 Public Interest Law Day for Public Interest, Pro Bono and Private Practitioners; Philadelphia Bar Association, Dec. 1, 2011
Thu Tran and Blank Rome L.L.P. to Receive Philadelphia Bar Foundation Awards Nov. 19
Veterans Day 2011 Message from Legal Services Corp. Board Chair
On Nov. 11, John G. Levi, board chairman of the Legal Services Corp., honored veterans for their service and for the courage that "keeps alive the values of our Founding Fathers," including the value of equal justice. Since 2002 the PBA's Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee and its LAMP listserv have helped over 2,000 active-duty personnel, veterans and their families. Click here to read the message.
ABA President Visits MidPenn Legal Services, Nov. 9, 2011
On Nov. 9, American Bar Association President William T. Robinson III visited the Harrisburg office of MidPenn Legal Services, the legal aid program providing vital legal services in the 18 county area of central Pennsylvania. During the visit he expressed concern about adequate funding for legal services. Robinson is shown below (center, with lapel pin) during his visit. Click here for the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network news release on the event.
State Supreme Court Launches Nation's First Online Training for Veterans' Court Mentors, Nov. 9, 2011
The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania has joined state and national veterans' groups in seeking volunteers to assist former servicemen and servicewomen who come into contact with the criminal justice system. As part of the effort, an online training program - believed to be the first of its kind in the nation - has been launched to enhance access and increase the number of people wanting to become mentors. Click here for the announcement by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts.
Nov. 5, 2011: In Pittsburgh, Pro Bono Rocks!
Pro Bono Rocks! returns to Pittsburgh with a Battle of the Attorney Bands. Get more information, including a link for ticket purchase.
Nov. 03 - Nov. 06, 2011: 20th Annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference
The 20th Annual Consumer Rights Litigation Conference will take place at the luxurious Fairmont Chicago, Millennium Park Hotel Nov. 3-6. Over the years thousands of consumer attorneys have attended and gained insightful, useful information from experts in consumer law. Nearly 1,000 attorneys attended last year's conference in Boston. You don't want to miss the conference's cutting edge courses that will strengthen your cases, sharpen your legal strategies, and improve your results for your consumer clients. In addition to a full lineup of breakout sessions, plenaries, and the Consumer Class Action Symposium, the conference will feature a number of Intensive sessions that provide timely, in depth information on mortgage litigation and foreclosure defense, consumer bankruptcy, the FHA and RHS Loan Programs, student loan borrowers, and debt collection suits. If you have any questions, please e-mail Conference@NCLC.org. Find out more.
Nominations Sought for First Judicial District Roll of Honor; Event Oct. 27, 2011
The First Judicial District will honor attorneys in private practice who have performed pro bono services in the district during 2011 at a reception to be held on Oct. 27. For more information, as posted to the Philadelphia Bar Association website, click here.
Oct. 25, 2011: Corporate Pro Bono Day
Philadelphia VIP will be holding its 2011 Corporate Pro Bono Day on Oct. 25 from 4 to 7 p.m. at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius L.L.P., 1701 Market Street, Philadelphia. Corporate Pro Bono Day provides microentrepreneurs the opportunity to discuss immediate and ongoing legal matters with corporate counsel from various Philadelphia-area businesses. Past volunteers include counsel from PECO Energy, Comcast Cable Communications, Aramark Corporation, Verizon, and many others. This event is limited to Corporate Counsel. For more information visit the Philadelphia VIP website.
The Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership's Annual Breakfast Meeting, Oct. 18, 2011
This year's program focuses on the pro bono programs of corporate legal departments and includes a panel of in-house attorneys from Alcoa, CBS, FedEx Ground, UPMC and others. Find out more.
Oct. 6, 2011: LIHEAP and Public Benefits Law Updates in Hazleton
A public utility and public benefits law updates CLE is scheduled for Oct. 6 at Top of the 80s in Hazleton. Click here for information, as posted to PAprobono.net.
PBA Pro Bono Office Invitation to Join the National Online Pro Bono Conversation in October 2011
Allegheny County Bar Association Pro Bono Achievement Award Winners Honored Sept. 27, 2011
Sept. 21, 2011: 13th Annual McKinney-Vento Awards Reception and Dinner
The Board of Directors of the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty invites you to support its work to end and prevent homelessness by sponsoring and attending the 13th Annual McKinney-Vento Awards on Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel, 480 L'Enfant Plaza in Washington, D.C. The McKinney-Vento Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have advanced solutions to homelessness and poverty. These awards also pay tribute to two outstanding national leaders in the fight to end homelessness, Stewart B. McKinney and Bruce F. Vento. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis will deliver the keynote address. Award Recipients include: Stewart B. McKinney Award: U.S. Human Rights Fund Bruce F. Vento Award: Rep. Barney Frank Pro Bono Counsel Award: DLA Piper Personal Achievement Award: Rob Robinson About the Honorees More Information Sponsorship and Ticket Information.
Sept. 16, 2011: Quiet Title/Homeownership Training (Philadelphia VIP)
Philadelphia VIP will hold a Quiet Title/Homeownership Training Program on Sept. 16 from noon to 2:15 p.m., at Duane Morris LLP, 30 South 17th Street, Philadelphia. To register, call (215) 523-9550 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fundraiser for Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Sept. 15, 2011
The Delaware County Bar Association sponsors "A Night to Remember," Sept. 15, 2011. Click here for information.
Legal Services Corp. Statement on Rising U.S. Poverty, Sept. 13, 2011
John G. Levi, board chair of the Legal Services Corp. (LSC) issued a statement Sept. 13 on new federal poverty data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data show that nearly one in five Americans qualifies for civil legal assistance at the legal aid offices funded by the LSC, more than 60.4 million in 2010 and up 3.6 million from the prior year. Click here for the press release, as posted on the LSC website.
PBA MVA Committee Co-Chair Payne Testifies on Special Veterans Courts, Sept. 7, 2011
Wesley R. Payne IV, shown above at right, co-chair of the PBA Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee, testified on the issue of special veterans' courts at a joint hearing of the state House Judiciary and Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness committees held Sept. 7, 2011. Click here for the text of the PBA statement to the committees.
PBA's Aug. 25, 2011, Statement Opposes State Legislative Package on Immigration
On Aug. 25, the PBA submitted a written statement to the House State Government Committee in opposition to a majority of bills contained in the committee's "National Security Begins At Home Legislative Package."
The committee held hearings on the legislation in Harrisburg on Aug. 30-31. "As a statewide bar association, it is incumbent upon the PBA to oppose legislation that is so clearly unconstitutional and contrary to the rule of law, against public policy and principles of fairness and equality, and fundamentally flawed in conception," explained PBA President Matthew J. Creme Jr. Click here for background on the PBA position, and click here for the 22-page statement.
2011 Martin Luther King Program Summer Interns
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network's (PLAN) Martin Luther King Jr. program for rising second and third year law students was established in 1991 to promote cultural and ethnic diversity in legal services and to honor Dr. King. Pictured here are the program's 2011 summer interns. For information on the program, visit the PLAN website.
Park Honored with ABA Pro Bono Award
Elena Park, a past PBA Pro Bono Award winner and a 2011 Goffman Award winner, was among those honored with a 2011 ABA Pro Bono Publico Award. The ABA awards were presented at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Assembly Luncheon during the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, on Aug. 8, 2011. Click here for more on Park and the other recipients of the ABA awards. Pictured below at the awards event are, from left, PBA President Matthew J. Creme Jr.; PBA Immediate Past President Gretchen A. Mundorff; Ms. Park; and PBA President-elect Thomas G. Wilkinson Jr.
State Legislative Committee Issues Positive Audit of Legal Services Delivery and Recommends More Stable Funding, May 2011
The State Legislative Budget and Finance Committee recently issued its audit of legal services funding authorized by Pennsylvania's Access to Justice Act (AJA). Documenting a well-run legal services delivery system, the audit recommends that "The General Assembly … consider making the AJA fee and surcharge permanent to provide a more stable funding stream for civil legal aid." Click here for the audit report, and click here for highlights. Click here for reaction to the report in a May 26 AOPC press release.
Disciplinary Board's Attorney E-Newsletter for May 2011 Promotes IOLTA Online Donation Option
The May 2011 newsletter from the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania features a guest editorial from Stephanie S. Libhart, assistant director of the Pennsylvania IOLTA Board, on making an IOLTA contribution to support legal aid or pro bono efforts. Click here for the newsletter or go to www.paiolta.org/donate/ for information and a link to the online donation form.
PBA Secretary Lieber Appointed to ABA IOLTA Commission in May 2011
PBA Secretary Penina Kessler Lieber has been appointed to a one-year term on the ABA IOLTA Commission. The national commission was created in 1986 and consists of nine members from across the county appointed by the president of the ABA. The commission (1) collects, maintains, analyzes, and disseminates information on programs involving the use of IOLTA funds for public service activities; (2) makes recommendations for ABA policy on the creation and operation of IOLTA programs; (3) maintains liaisons with state IOLTA programs; and (4) oversees the IOLTA Clearinghouse, which provides information, materials and technical assistance on IOLTA program design and operation. In the past, the commission has been at the forefront of encouraging states to establish IOLTA programs or convert them to mandatory; encouraging the implementation of interest rate comparability rules to increase IOLTA revenues; assisting in the defense of IOLTA during constitutional challenges; and co-sponsoring workshops for IOLTA staff and trustees twice a year, among other activities.
Lackawanna Pro Bono Inc.'s Fifth Annual Golf Tournament, Blue Ridge Trail Golf Club, Mountaintop, June 6, 2011 (Click here for the registration brochure.)
Widener Law School (Harrisburg) Students Supply Informational Brochures on Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, May 2011
In a joint project of the PBA's Pro Bono Office, the Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) and Widener Law School, Harrisburg , students from the law school recently supplied PALawHELP.org with a series of information brochures titled "Know Your Debtor's Rights." Find out more.
Philadelphia VIP Celebrates 30th Anniversary with '30 for 30' Challenge
In honor of Philadelphia VIP's 30th Anniversary and its commitment to access to justice for all, lawyers in the Philadelphia legal community are being asked to pledge to do 30 hours of pro bono service in 2011. Click here for information. Main program contacts: Matthew S. Olesh at email@example.com and Martha (Frannie) Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2011 PLAN Statewide Training Conference, May 11 - May 12
Legal aid professionals and others concerned about access to justice will meet in Harrisburg for the 2011 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Conference at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, May 11-12. The PBA Pro Bono Office is a proud partner with PLAN in hosting this event, sponsoring the Wednesday, May 11, evening barbecue on the patio at the Harrisburg Hilton and conducting a session Thursday morning, May 12, on the ethics of pro se representation.
Counties Promote Pro Bono Events
Allegheny County: Law and Process of Refugee Adjustment of Status Applications, April 29, 2011; find out more; Erie County: Eighth Annual Law Day 5K Run/Walk, April 30, 2011; find out more; Monroe County: Annual "RACE JUDICATA" Law Day 5-Mile Race and 5K Fun-Run/Walk, May 8, 2011; find out more.
Philadelphia-Region Celebration of National Citizenship Day 2011, April 30, 2011
Attorneys from all practice areas are invited to participate in the Philadelphia-area celebration of National Citizenship Day 2011 on April 30. Join teams of volunteer attorneys at Philadelphia regional, Center City and community sites to provide free or low-cost assistance to eligible lawful permanent residents who wish to apply for U.S. citizenship. Free training session on citizenship procedures and fee waivers, March 23. Click here for more information.
North Penn Legal Services Staff Offers Lake Harmony Pro Bono Training, April 14, 2011
North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) and the Wilkes-Barre Law & Library Association, as part of the ongoing pro bono initiative for Luzerne County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, will hold a day-long training program at Split Rock Resort in Lake Harmony, Pa., April 14. Up to three substantive CLE credits can be earned, and the program is free to any attorney willing to accept a pro bono referral from NPLS over the next year. For an attorney wishing to attend all three credit hours but not willing to accept a pro bono referral, the cost is $15 per credit hour. Click here for more information and to register. Registration deadline: April 11.
Joint LexisNexis, Pro Bono Net Survey Finds Lawyers' Personal Commitment to Pro Bono, March 2011
LexisNexis and Pro Bono Net report in a recently released survey that lawyers engaged in pro bono work report a strong, personal commitment to it. pro bono. The survey, conducted in November 2010, also found that other lawyers also report interest in pro bono work but are constrained by time and billing issues. Click here for a report on the survey results.
Former PLAN Executive Director Howard Thorkelson Dies, Feb. 26, 2011
Click here for the obituary. Thorkelson will be honored at a Memorial Service to be held at 2 p.m. on April 16, 2011, at Messiah Lutheran Church, located at the corner of Commonwealth Avenue and Forster Street in Harrisburg.
Legal Aid and Bar Leaders Celebrate and Strategize on Pro Bono, Feb. 24, 2011 (click here for photos from the event)
2011 PBA Pro Bono Conference Held March 7
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille and PBA President Gretchen A. Mundorff have called for the expansion of pro bono legal services to the poor, and on March 7, 2011, nearly 150 lawyers and law students from across the state came to one of more than 20 locations to join in the statewide pro bono conference and CLE program sponsored by the PBA's Legal Services to the Public Committee in conjunction with PBI to learn about ways to serve. Click here for more information on the conference.
PLAN 2011 Excellence Awards Program Recognizes LRAP Efforts
Click here for the list of awardees recognized by the 2011 Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards program for their involvement in the creation of Pennsylvania's Statewide Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP). Click here for more on PLAN's 2011 Excellence Awards.
Pro Bono Opportunity to Help Low-Income Women in Pennsylvania in a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) Pro Bono Program, 2011
The Mid-America Pension Rights Project, a program of Pro Seniors Inc., with the Philadelphia-based SeniorLAW Center as Pennsylvania partner on this project, is currently in need of pro bono legal services to provide assistance with drafting and filing of QDROs in various communities in Pennsylvania. Find out more.
February 2011 Disciplinary Board Electronic Newsletter Focuses on Pro Bono
The recent "Attorney E-Newsletter" of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania focused on current pro bono issues. Click here for the Pro Bono Issue.
Dauphin County Bar Foundation, Local Businesses Sponsor Custody Attorney for Harrisburg Families in Need, Feb. 1, 2011
The Dauphin County Bar Foundation, with support from Metro Bank and other businesses, foundations and individuals, has announced that its “We Care About Children” campaign, which is coming to a close, is funding a custody attorney at MidPenn Legal Services in Harrisburg. Find out more.
In January Chief Justice Castille, PBA President Mundorff Urge Lawyers to Increase Pro Bono Activity
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille and PBA President Gretchen A. Mundorff have joined in calling upon all Pennsylvania lawyers to volunteer more of their time and money to help ensure that citizens with limited financial means receive needed civil legal representation. Read the news release and Chief Justice Castille's letter to attorneys.
Pro Bono Exchange Launched by ABA Center on Pro Bono, Jan. 30, 2011
PBA Pro Bono Office Joins MCAP in Series of Trainings Beginning Feb. 16
The PBA Pro Bono Office is joining the Montgomery Child Advocacy Project (MCAP) in presenting across Pennsylvania a series of free half-day seminars. The program begins by outlining the history of the MCAP as an educational model for counties to address the need of representing children in certain legal matters. Please check out both the MCAP website at http://www.mcapkids.org/ and http://www.pabar.org/public/committees/childini/summit.asp. On the second site, there are two PowerPoint presentations under the heading Children's Advocates Program Presentations by Wendy Demchick-Alloy and Mary Pugh, Montgomery County Advocacy Project
The IOLTA-supported program is designed to help counties serve children. In the seminar, MCAP and PBA Pro Bono presenters will review other ways to serve children either by court appointment or through a county office. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is currently contemplating that all lawyers who represent children in these situations must attend pre-approved training seminars, so the seminar will also address and model the ways to train lawyers to serve as counsel for children.
In light of the developments in Luzerne County, as well as the mandate in the Juvenile Act requiring counsel for children, this seminar serves as a review of the various ways counties appoint counsel and guardians ad litem for children. Each program will be tailored with local Bar and pro bono leaders to both address the needs and the ways to address these serious and fundamental needs.
Check the PBA Pro Bono Calendar for dates and locations for the trainings. The first event is Feb. 16 in Williamsport!
Monroe County Bar Association Second Annual Pro Bono Conference April 20, 2011
The Second Annual Pro Bono Conference sponsored by the Monroe County Bar Association is rescheduled for Wednesday, April 20, due to bad weather on the original Jan. 12 date and the rescheduled Feb. 2 date.
All else remains the same--the event is still at The Cramer Room, Burnley Employment and Rehabilitation Services in Stroudsburg, Pa. The Monroe County Bar Association Pro Bono Conference agenda begins with a buffet lunch at 11:30 AM. The following four sessions will be conducted by local presenters. The sessions include “Act 91 and Home Loan Modification”, “Home Mortgage Foreclosure Defense”, Mortgage Foreclosure Mediation”, and “Bankruptcy”. Victoria Coyle, Executive Director from North Penn Legal Services (NPLS) will close the conference with remarks on pro bono services.
"We’re pleased to be able to present a program of legal education in an area of the law that impacts so many members of our community and to do so using the food services of a program as worthwhile as Burnley Employment and Rehabilitation Services," said Jeffrey J. Kash, Esq., Chair of the MCBA Pro Bono Committee. The Monroe County Bar Association Pro Bono Conference is free to those attorneys who agree to accept two pro bono cases during the year 2011. The referrals for the pro bono cases will be made through North Penn Legal Services. Cost to attend the Pro Bono Conference (to those who do not want to accept two pro bono cases) is $250.00. This program has been approved for 3 Substantive CLE credits.
To register for the Monroe County Bar Association Pro Bono Conference, call Susan Kenny at 570-242-7288.
Nominations Sought for the 2011 ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards
The ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service is seeking nominations for its 2011 Pro Bono Publico Awards. Nomination forms and all supporting materials must be submitted via e-mail by the close of business on March 14. The awards will be presented at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Luncheon on Aug. 8 at the ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Get more information.
32nd Annual Philadelphia Bar Association 5K Run/Walk, May 15, 2011
24th Annual Pro Bono Awards Nominations Due April 15
The PBA’s Legal Service to the Public Committee is pleased to announce the opening of the nomination period for the 2011 Pro Bono Awards, the 24th year that the committee has sought individual award nominees. This year marks the seventh year for both the “Judges Award” and the “Civil Legal Aid Attorney of the Year Award”, given to a judge and a legal services attorney selected by the Committee in recognition of his or her exceptional contributions to improving civil legal aid in the Commonwealth. The 2011 Pro Bono Awards nominations are due on April 15th and the awardees will be announced on Law Day in May. The award winners will also be acknowledged at various pro bono events throughout the remainder of the year, whenever possible by PBA President-Elect Mathew J. Creme Jr., who plans to continue to promote pro bono service and civil legal aid across the Commonwealth by honoring during his bar travels, as PBA President Gretchen A. Mundorff has done during her travels, the champions of pro bono. This is your chance to recognize and thank those attorneys and judges who have used their talents to help the needy in your county. While the obstacles to equal access to justice continue to mount, the willingness of attorneys to help meet the legal needs of the indigent in their communities is important to those in need of service and bestows honor upon our great profession. These nominees provide services that allow the doors of justice to remain open to all citizens. Please go to http://www.pabar.org/public/probono/awards.asp to nominate someone.
Flag Day CLE, June 14, 2011
Come participate in the Pennsylvania Bar Institute presentation of the PBA’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee Desktop Military Reference Training, the major training effort for the Legal Assistance to Military Personnel Pro Bono Program which has helped nearly two thousand soldiers, veterans and their families over the past decade. The training will be held all day on Flag Day, June 14, 2011, in Mechanicsburg, Pa., and sent out across the commonwealth by satellite. Join attorneys and judges who will be presenting and learning about the legal issues that impact active, guard and reserve armed forces.
Additionally, the program is meant to continue to encourage statewide pro bono programs to assist our armed forces with legal matters that affect them and their families. The PBA MVA Committee has worked closely with the National Veterans Education Program out of Media, Pennsylvania, the home of the Veterans Museum, as well as with Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge where the Medal of Honor Gardens have been rehabilitated with PBA MVA assistance.
Pro Bono and Child Advocacy: the MCAP Model for Helping Counties Serve Children (Accredited for 2 Substantive and 1 Integrated Ethics credits)
Welcome; Mary Pugh, Executive Director of Montgomery County Child Advocates Program;
David Trevaskis, Pro Bono Coordinator, Pennsylvania Bar Association; Representatives of local District Attorney and local Bar Association
Overview of Pro Bono Ethic/Rule of Professional Responsibility 6.1/PALawhelp.org and PAprobono.net, Trevaskis
History of the MCAP; What a Model Child Representation Program Looks Like, Pugh
Overview of Children in the System; Dependency vs. Delinquency; Children in Criminal Court not as Delinquents; Juvenile Act Review, Pugh and Trevaskis
Local Practice with Children; What Can Be Done Locally in the Future, Pugh and others
Wrap Up/Evaluation/Where We Go From Here?, Trevaskis
First Judicial District Applauds 2010 "Roll of Honor" for Pro Bono Service
The First Judicial District's "Roll of Honor" for Pro Bono Service recognizes all attorneys who have provided pro bono services to litigants in the First Judicial District in 2010. The Roll of Honor members, and individual attorneys selected by the judges of each division for "exemplary" pro bono services, were applauded at a special awards ceremony in Philadelphia City Hall, Jan. 24, 2011. Read more.
Monroe County Hosts 2nd Annual Pro Bono Conference, Jan. 12, 2011
Frank Cervone, center, director of Philadelphia’s Support Center for Child Advocates, and PBA Pro Bono Coordinator David Trevaskis, at right in red, organize delivery of more than 4,000 toys collected during the center’s 2010 Toy Drive. More than 1,000 children served by the center received toys during the Dec. 18 distribution. Since its founding in 1977, the center has provided legal assistance and social service advocacy for abused and neglected children in Philadelphia County and has trained more than 3,500 attorneys who contribute pro bono services valued at more than $3.5 million annually.
Lebanon County Bar Association Recognizes Pro Bono Work, John H. Whitmoyer Receives Award
Read the Dec. 1, 2010, news release about the LCBA celebration of 2010 National Pro Bono Week.
PBF and IOLTA Board to Launch Statewide LRAP
The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the PBA's charitable affiliate, and the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Account (IOLTA) Board have partnered to launch the Loan Repayment Assistance Program (LRAP), a statewide loan repayment assistance program to help lawyers employed at IOLTA-funded legal services organizations better manage their law school loan debt. Click here for the PBA news release on the program. For background information on the PBA effort promoting the program, led by the Loan Forgiveness Implementation Committee (sunsetted in June 2008), click here. Click here for the AOPC news release on the program. For the text of a letter celebrating the start of the program by Lou Rulli, director of clinical programs at the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and a tri-chair of the original PBA Student Loan Repayment Assistance Task Force, click here. Read more about the program in the attached announcement.
Lycoming Law Association Joins in Mortgage Foreclosure Counseling Effort
Read the post on the website of The Williamsport Sun-Gazette.
The York County Bar Association and the Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center Receive 2010 Louis J. Goffman Award
Find out more.
Pittsburgh NLSA’s Older & Wiser Program Wins $50,000 Award
The Pittsburgh Neighborhood Legal Services Association’s Older & Wiser program is the winner of the 2010 Emil Gumpert Award of $50,000 funded by a grant from the Foundation of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Find out more about the award.
PAProbono.net is the Online Resource for All Things Pro Bono
Looking for an opportunity to support the public good? Searching for resources to help serve a pro bono client? Check out the PAProbono.net Web site, an online resource supported by the PBA, local bar associations, pro bono referral programs, legal aid programs and private law firms. The site features a Pro Bono Opportunities Guide that allows lawyers to select their volunteer preferences, the Pennsylvania Civil Law Practice Area, an events calendar and other information to educate and inspire lawyers interested in increasing access to justice.
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Stories of Pro Bono Lawyers in Action