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Carl Rauscher
Director of Media Relations
202.295.1615
rauscherc@lsc.gov

 

National Pro Bono Task Force to Highlight Findings and Recommendations at Chicago Event

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Washington, DC—An event celebrating the newly released report of a national Pro Bono Task Force convened by the board of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) will take place on Monday, October 15, 2012, at the Chicago law office of DLA Piper.

The LSC Board charged the task force with identifying and recommending 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.

“Strengthening pro bono is essential in this time of reduced legal aid funding and rapidly escalating demand,” said LSC Board Chairman John G. Levi. “This report provides a blueprint to reshape pro bono into a more reliable system that will deploy increased and consistent civil legal assistance to the core areas affecting low-income Americans.”

Event speakers will include:  John G. Levi, chairman of the LSC Board of Directors; James J. Sandman, LSC president; Laurel G. Bellows, American Bar Association president; Robert J. Grey, Jr., LSC Board member, former ABA president, and partner in the Richmond, Va. office of Hunton & Williams; Chief Justice Thomas Kilbride of the Illinois Supreme Court; Lee Miller, partner and joint CEO, DLA Piper; and Gloria Santona, executive vice president, general counsel and secretary, McDonalds Corporation.

The task force, co-chaired by Dean Martha Minow of the 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. (See a list of task force members.)   

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.

The event and reception will take place at 5:00 pm at DLA Piper, 203 N. LaSalle Street, 19th Floor. Chicago.

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LSC was established by the Congress in 1974 to provide equal access to justice and to ensure the delivery of high-quality civil legal assistance to low-income Americans. The Corporation currently provides funding to 134 independent nonprofit legal aid programs in every state, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.