Pro Bono Week Celebrated October 25-31
October 20, 2015
This is the week we recognize and say “Thank You” to the many volunteer attorneys who support SMRLS’ mission – to provide free, high-quality legal help to low-income people in critical civil matters.
Why do we need volunteer attorneys anyway?
Unfortunately, the number of Minnesotans currently living in poverty has increased in recent years. At the same time, funding for legal aid organizations has gone down. In Minnesota today, for every paid legal aid attorney, there are over 3,600 eligible clients. The only way to serve more of these clients is with the generous service of volunteer attorneys.
At SMRLS, we have over 100 of these volunteers who have been taking cases for more than 10 years – and 45 of them have been volunteering for over 20 years.
Volunteering is not just important – it is rewarding. In many cases, just a few hours of volunteer work can make a dramatic difference in the client’s life. The Minnesota Rules of Professional Responsibility set the aspirational goal of attorneys providing at least 50 hours of pro bono work each year.
Plus, volunteer attorneys can earn CLE credits. For every 6 hours of pro bono work, you can receive one CLE credit, up to six credits in a reporting period. You can also earn the Minnesota State Bar Association’s North Star Award. The recognition is given each year for attorneys certifying at least 50 hours of pro bono work.
Check the North Star Attorney list here.
If you are already a volunteer attorney, we send you our deepest thanks. If you are not, please consider becoming a volunteer. Better yet, set the goal of providing at least 50 hours of pro bono work next year. Send in your application to become a SMRLS volunteer attorney today.
Because, justice matters.