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Cumberland County Organizations Honored with Goffman Award for Pro Bono Service

HARRISBURG (May 2000) -- The Dickinson School of Law, Legal Services Inc. and the Cumberland County Bar Association were presented with one of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation’s Louis J. Goffman awards for their Joint Pro Bono Program for Cumberland County during the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Annual Meeting held this month in Hershey.

Named for a late Pennsylvania Bar Association president, the Louis J. Goffman Award is presented annually to an individual and/or group or organization for outstanding pro bono work during the past year. All lawyers and law-related groups/organizations are eligible for the award. The award is presented by the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, the charitable arm of the PBA.

“The Pennsylvania Bar Foundation is pleased to recognize those individuals in the legal profession who work to make a difference in the lives of the less fortunate,” Arthur L. Piccone, president of the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation said. “The Dickinson law students and members of Legal Services and the Cumberland County Bar Association are to be commended for their innovation and outstanding work in providing pro bono legal services.”

The Joint Pro Bono Program is a creative and collaborative approach to addressing the legal needs of poor residents in Cumberland County. It enables Dickinson law students to do pro bono work by matching second- and third-year students with Cumberland County Bar Association members who have agreed to accept pro bono referrals from Legal Services Inc. On average, Legal Services Inc. refers 120 pro bono cases to members of the bar association each year. The Joint Program coordinator is a staff lawyer at Legal Services Inc.

While the main goal of the program is to provide legal services to the less fortunate, it also works to encourage students to form a career-long habit of pro bono service. In addition, the program reinforces bar association members’ commitment to pro bono. The law school and the Pennsylvania Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Board (IOLTA) share the cost of the program.