Washington, DC—A Pro Bono Task Force convened by the Legal Services Corporation (LSC) Board of Directors will release its findings this week at events at the U.S. Capitol and Harvard Law School.
The 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.”
Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) who chairs the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies, and who will speak at the Washington event, also commented on the report.
“I appreciate LSC’s detailed report and recommendations on enhancing pro bono work around the U.S.,” Wolf said. “For years, I have been advocating for better pro bono coordination between law firms and LSC. I want to commend this LSC for rising to the occasion to provide critical leadership on this issue. Pro bono work is essential to meeting the unmet needs of low-income Americans who deserve fair representation.”
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:
The task force’s requests of bar leaders, the judiciary, and others include:
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.