MONTGOMERY – The Alabama State Bar on Wednesday announced that the month of October 2014 has been designated as Pro Bono Month in the state of Alabama by issue of a proclamation from Governor Robert Bentley.
Pro Bono Month focuses on the work of attorneys and legal professionals who have taken on civil legal cases at no cost and have donated their time to help citizens who may not otherwise have access to legal assistance. The month-long celebration works to educate the public on these pro bono efforts made by Alabama lawyers, and lawyers across the country. Currently, there are more than 4,500 attorneys in Alabama who are enrolled in pro bono programs statewide.
Alabama State Bar President Rich Raleigh of Wilmer & Lee, P.A. (Huntsville) is one of the many attorneys who has dedicated his time to pro bono legal cases. Like other attorneys who have participated in pro bono cases, Raleigh’s experiences have rewarded him both personally and professionally.
“Pro bono service should be approached as a moral obligation to serve those who are in need of our help,” Raleigh said. “It goes to the heart of the motto of the Alabama State Bar: Lawyers Render Service. It can be one of the most rewarding experiences in the life of a lawyer.”
With more than 18 percent of Alabamians and 27 percent of Alabama’s children living below the poverty level, pro bono services are necessary to assist low-income individuals with legal problems. During the month of October, events highlighting pro bono services will bring attention to the growing need to help citizens living below the poverty level. These events include poverty simulations, free legal advice clinics, senior citizen clinics, service projects and more.
“The legal profession is among the very few that calls on its members to make a difference in their communities through pro bono work,” said Linda Lund, Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program Director. “Our Celebration offers a time to reflect on this core value of our profession, and although statewide in breadth, this celebration provides an opportunity for local bar associations to showcase the great difference that pro bono lawyers make in their communities.”
This is the sixth year that the Alabama State Bar has participated in the Pro Bono Celebration. Previously celebrated as a one-week event in Alabama to coincide with the national celebration, Pro Bono Month will encompass the entire month of October. The extension of the celebration was put in place to bring additional awareness to the pro bono efforts that are made across the state by lawyers and legal professionals.
To view all of the Pro Bono Month events across the state of Alabama, go here.
To view the Pro Bono Month proclamation signed by Governor Robert Bentley, go here.