October 18, 2010

Opportunities for pro bono service

Filed under: News — CABA @ 11:11 am

To:        All Members of the Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association

From:  Rhoda Quagliana, President, CABA

Date:    October 18, 2010


              The second annual National Pro Bono Week, sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, will be celebrated October 24 through October 30 of this year.  State and local bar associations all across the country are scheduling special events intended to showcase and celebrate the work of lawyers providing pro bono services to low-income and vulnerable members of our community.  These events are also intended to educate lawyers nationwide regarding the unmet need for pro bono services and to provide lawyers with opportunities to serve.


              The two nonprofit organizations in our own community that provide legal services to low-income individuals, Central Virginia Legal Aid Society and Legal Aid Justice Center, while providing excellent service, do not have sufficient resources to meet the ever-growing need.  The need for pro bono services has historically been greater than the resources available to provide them.  The present state of our economy has increased the need while shrinking the public and private funding available for these organizations.  Demand simply exceeds supply, more so now than ever.


              Likewise, the Center for Nonprofit Excellence is a local resource center dedicated to strengthening nonprofits to realize the potential of our community.  They serve many small non-profit organizations in need of limited transactional assistance.  As the world grows more complicated, the requests for legal assistance increase.


              The Supreme Court of Virginia challenged us earlier this year to redouble our efforts to provide pro bono services in our community.  The Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association – Pro Bono Committee and Firms in Service are working together to help us meet this challenge.  They have coordinated our local organizations to identify areas of practice where the need for service by local practitioners is particularly great and most easily provided.


Please click Pro Bono Opportunities Chart  for a chart displaying the areas of practice and providing other information about the pro bono opportunities.  Each opportunity has an attorney as the point of contact should you have questions.  For each area, potential assistance is available from students at the law school.  All potential clients will be screened by the legal aid providers to ensure appropriate financial eligibility before a pro bono attorney is requested to accept referral of a matter.  High quality, CLE eligible training will be provided in many areas.


Please join me in accepting the Supreme Court’s challenge.  Printout the chart, check off the areas of your potential interest, and return the chart to:  Helen Parrish, Volunteer Pro Bono Coordinator, Legal Aid Justice Center, fax 434-977-0558.  We will be in touch.  Thank You.

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