Welcome to PAProbono.net
This site contains resources for probono and legal aid advocates, law professionals, and law students to assist in your representation of low income or disadvantaged clients. Please join our community.
PAProbono.net is an online legal community that provides information and resources for pro bono attorneys, legal aid attorneys, public defenders, and other legal advocates interested in increasing access to justice.
The Pennsylvania Civil Law Practice Area contains information and resources relating to the non-criminal practice of law in Pennsylvania, including family law.
The National Practice Areas listed to the left are practice areas moderated by national experts in those areas. To join a National Practice Area, select the one you are interested in from the list to visit to that area's homepage. On the selected National Practice Area's homepage select "Join this Area" to apply for membership to the practice area.
Over the past five years the ABA's Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service has succeeded in creating an annual national spotlight on pro bono with its National Celebration of Pro Bono.
The annual Celebration is a coordinated national effort to meet the ever-growing needs of this country's most vulnerable citizens by encouraging and supporting local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services, and by showcasing the great difference that pro bono lawyers make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities and, most of all, to the clients they serve.
Although national in breadth, the Celebration provides an opportunity for local legal associations across the country to take the next step in their efforts to provide high quality legal services to those living on the social margins.
The 2013 National Celebration of Pro Bono takes place on October 20-26, 2013.
Please visit the Resources section of the National Celebration of Pro Bono website for great organizing ideas and tools. Free consultation services are also available to facilitate your planning. Contact the ABA's Center for Pro Bono staff: email@example.com.
The National Celebration website also features JUST Stories, a video quilt of stories that significantly impacted the lives of public interest and pro bono advocates and their clients.
Your own advocacy story has the potential to inspire and connect others to the essential work of providing legal assistance to those living on the social margins. Contribute your experience and tell how you changed your client's story, and made it a JUST story.
One story last year was offered by Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court:
Pennsylvania Attorneys Honored for Pro Bono Service by Legal Services Corporation
The Legal Services Corporation Board of Directors honored pro bono counsel from Pennsylvania in a Pro Bono Awards reception that was held on October 21, 2013 in Pittsburgh. The board recognizied and presented awards to eight firms and attorneys from across Pennsylvania.
Those honored were nominated for recognition by LSC recipients in Pennsylvania.
The honorees are:
- Mary R. Bates, nominated by Southwestern Pennsylvania Legal Services, Inc.
- Ronald R. Bolig, nominated by Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
- James P. DeAngelo, nominated by MidPenn Legal Services, Inc.
- Gregory L. Heidt, nominated by Northwestern Legal Services
- Pittsburgh Pro Bono Partnership, nominated by Neighborhood Legal Services Association
- Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Harris, Waters, and Waffenschmidt, nominated by North Penn Legal Services, Inc.
- Joseph A. Sullivan, nominated by Philadelphia Legal Assistance
- Westmoreland Legal Foundation, nominated by Laurel Legal Services, Inc.
The reception was held at the law firm of K&L Gates. Speakers at the event included Congressman Chaka Fattah.
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network Excellence Awards Recognize Pro Bono Achievements
Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Yvette R. Long, a disability and welfare rights advocate with the Pennsylvania Welfare Rights organization were also honored with the Outstanding Leadership in Support of Legal Services Awards at the event.
The list of recipients included individuals being recognized for pro bono achievements as well as a variety of civil legal aid professionals and other friends of civil legal aid across Pennsylvania.
Those recognized for pro bono efforts include:
- Cary L. Flitter, Esq.
Founding partner of the Montgomery County law firm Flitter Lorenz, P.C. and a leading consumer protection lawyer.
- Kathryn M. Kenyon, Esq.
Attorney and partner with the law firm of Pietragallo, Gordon, Alfano, Bosick and Raspanti, LLP in Pittsburgh.
- The Lycoming Law Association and the Lycoming Law Foundation
The Lycoming Law Association is the professional organization composed of attorneys in Lycoming County. The Lycoming Law Association Foundation is the charitable arm of the Association.
- David Keller Trevaskis, Esq.
Pro Bono Coordinator at the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
Other selected to receive Excellence Awards include:
- Judy Berkman, Esq., Managing Attorney for Regional Housing Legal Services in Glenside, PA
- Elizabeth C. Goodell, Esq. and Kerry Smith, Esq. of the Homeownership and Consumer Unit at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia
- Sol María Rivera, a paralegal with Friends of Farmworkers, Inc.
- Debra Wiley, Legal Secretary in the Bedford office of MidPenn Legal Services.
Video tributes were presented for each of the award recipients during the awards ceremony in Harrisburg. Those video tributes may be viewed at the link below.
Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network
Pennsylvania Bar Association
Legal Services to the Public Committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association
Pro Bono Center of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation
Philadelphia VIP Pro Bono Legal Services
Philadelphia Bar Association
Dauphin County Bar Association Pro Bono Program
Erie County Bar Association Legal Aid Volunteer Attorneys (LAVA) Program
Lackawanna Pro Bono, Inc. (Video Profile)
Pennsylvania IOLTA Board
PA Senate Judiciary Committee Holds Public Hearings on Civil Legal Representation of the Indigent
During 2013 the Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee elected to hold three Public Hearings entitled, Civil Legal Representation of the Indigent: Have We Achieved Equal Access to Justice?
Hearing were held on May 7, 20130 in Harrisburg, on May 23, 2013 in Philadelphia and on October 29, 2013 in Pittsburgh. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Stewart J. Greenleaf (R-Montgomery, Bucks) chaired the hearings.
2013 marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark decision Gideon v. Wainwright establishing the right to counsel for the indigent in serious criminal matters.
Few such Gideon-type rights have been recognized in civil matters where basic human needs such as shelter, safety, health, sustenance and child custody are at stake. Meanwhile, the demand has surged for civil legal representation on behalf of the poor, whose ranks have swelled following one of the worst recessions in the nation's history.
Those needs have been largely unmet due to a "perfect storm" of sustained, repeated and severe cuts in federal and state funding and a tight private fund-raising environment that has resulted in layoffs of legal aid staff and office closings. The gulf between client need and the availability of legal help has been termed "the civil justice gap."
The purpose of the public hearings was to explore and create awareness of the current state and scope of the unmet need for civil legal services by low-income Pennsylvanians confronting legal problems involving basic human needs.
The committee heard from a variety of witnesses including low-income Pennsylvanians and the lawyers who help them. Others testifying included community and business leaders and judges.
Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille, who is the Honorary Chair of a broad-based "Civil Legal Justice Coalition" created to work on exploring strategies to improve access to justice, testified at both of the hearings that have been held.. The 13,000-member Philadelphia Bar Association and 28,000-member Pennsylvania Bar Association are among the organizations that are part of the Coalition.
More Information on the hearings, including witness lists, recordings of the hearings and written transcripts, is available from Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. and from the Philadelphia Bar Association's Civil Gideon Corner on the bar association's website.
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Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network News
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