Read the IBA Pro Bono Committee Newsletter, November 2016
From the files Friday
A regular feature highlighting a roundup of topical pro bono content. IBA Law Student Committee member Emily Wright offers a retrospective on pro bono during recent presidencies in the United States.
January 2017 saw a new President of the United States take power and as the Trump administration ushers in a new era, here is a brief look back at the impact of former United States presidents on pro bono.
In 1996, then President Clinton issued an Executive Order, which featured a section on Government Pro Bono and Volunteer Service which stated “All Federal agencies should develop appropriate programs to encourage and facilitate pro bono legal and other volunteer service by government employees to be performed on their own time, including attorneys, as permitted by statute, regulation, or other rule or guideline.”
In 2009, then President Obama passed the Edward M Kennedy Serve America Act, stating “We need your service right now, at this moment in history. I'm not going to tell you what your role should be; that is for you to discover. But I am asking you to stand up and play your part."
In 2010, the Federal Government Pro Bono Program won the American Bar Association’s Pro Bono Publico Award and in the same year, IBA Human Rights Award winner Clive Stafford Smith, spoke to the IBA about expectations for presidential power and the joy of using a law degree to empower others.
What does this retrospective show? While change in leadership is constant, so is the call for pro bono (albeit in different ways!).
Refugee crisis accounts for huge spike in pro bono legal activity
The emergence of a highly active pro bono sector is among the most notable – and edifying – developments in legal practice over the last two decades. Increasing numbers of commercial lawyers, it appears, are seeking ways to apply their skills to the provision of life-changing support for those most in need. Within the last year, the international refugee crisis has provided significant additional impetus for pro bono work.
Click here for the full article
IBA Pro Bono Committee Chair featured in Who's Who Legal's Article, 'Pro Bono - The Inside Story'.
On 2 December 2013, New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced that out-of-state lawyers employed as in-house counsel in New York would be able to provide pro bono legal services. This follows similar moves in Illinois, Virginia and Colorado. According to Lippman, only 20 per cent of the civil legal needs of New York's low-income residents were met in 2012 and the state hopes this development will help fill the gap.
Corporate pro bono is on the rise throughout the world and the timing could not be better - the difficult economic climate and legal aid cuts have led to a dramatically increased demand for free legal services from underprivileged sections of society. Recent developments throughout the world have helped to break down some of the barriers formerly hindering in-house counsel's involvement and have unleashed a section of the legal profession which was previously dormant. In this special feature, Who's Who Legal delves into the corporate world to find out the inside story of pro bono.
Click here for the full article.
For more on IBA pro bono initiatives:
Please see the IBA Pro Bono Declaration.
Please see the IBA website.
Please see the International Rule of Law Directory website.