In October, 2012, the Pro Bono Task Force convened by the LSC Board of Directors released its findings and recommendations at a series of events in Washington, Boston and Chicago.
The official release of the report took place on October 2nd at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, and featured remarks by Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies.
The task force, co-chaired by LSC Board members Martha Minow, of Harvard Law School, and Harry J.F. Korrell III, of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, included more than 60 distinguished leaders and experts from the judiciary, major corporations, private practice, law schools, the federal government, and the legal aid community. Its charge was to identify and recommend innovative ways to enhance pro bono throughout the country. The report presents the findings and recommendations of the task force’s five working groups: Best Practices-Urban, Best Practices-Rural, Obstacles, Technology, and Big Ideas.
The task force’s recommendations to LSC and its grantees include:
- Forming a professional association of pro bono coordinators at LSC-funded organizations;
- Asking Congress to create a new Pro Bono Innovation/Incubation Fund modeled on LSC’s successful Technology Initiatives Grant (TIG) program; and
- Developing a fellowship program for new graduates and emeritus lawyers designed to build support for civil legal services and pro bono within firms, law schools, and the legal profession as a whole.
The task force’s requests of bar leaders, the judiciary, and others include:
- Permitting judges to recruit and recognize pro bono attorneys, consistent with their ethical obligations;
- Allowing lawyers to take on limited-representation matters or
unbundle services; and
- Allowing lawyers to take on pro bono matters in jurisdictions other
than those in which they are licensed to practice.