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Pro Bono Week 2021

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This year, the legal community is celebrating Pro Bono Week from October 24th - 30th. Started in 2009 to meet the increasing need for such services during harsh economic times, the National Celebration of Pro Bono highlights the work of lawyers, paralegals, and law students who volunteer their services to those who cannot afford an attorney. According to the American Bar Association, “Pro bono work is a professional responsibility, an individual ethical commitment of each lawyer.”

The 2021 Pro Bono Week theme is “Moving Forward in a Post-Pandemic World”. In a brief video, current ABA President Reginald M. Turner asserts that the need for Access to Justice is more vital than ever due to the way the pandemic has exacerbated legal problems for millions of people. Turner calls on attorneys to meet the growing demand for pro bono assistance for those facing eviction, unemployment, bankruptcy and more. 

The celebration also showcases legal aid organizations and the opportunities that such organizations offer for pro bono work in local communities. Both the Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia Bar Associations, for example, have joined the ABA in planning events to encourage more pro bono volunteers across the state and the city, respectively. A few highlights offered in Philadelphia this week include the following:

The Philadelphia Bar Association’s Delivery of Legal Services Committee also provides a Pro Bono Opportunities in Philadelphia Guide, which was recently updated in September, 2021.

Celebrate Pro Bono Week this year by attending a training, volunteering at a clinic, taking a case through one of the opportunities listed above, or by supporting one of Philadelphia’s many public interest legal organizations!

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