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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 2014 National Celebration of Pro Bono takes place on October 19-25, 2014.
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 was offered by Chief Justice Ronald D. Castille of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. CLICK HERE to view this story and more JUST Stories from Pennsylvania.
For more information on the celebration, visit www.CelebrateProBono.org.
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 Presents 2014 Excellence Awards
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network honored the recipients of the 2014 Excellence Awards at its annual awards banquet on Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at the Harrisburg Hilton.
The Keynote Speaker for the evening was The Honorable Thomas G. Saylor, Justice of Supreme Court Justice of Pennsylvania. Click here to view the inspiring remarks of Justice Saylor at the Awards Dinner. A special recognition of the clients who participated in the Pennsylvania Senate Hearings on Access to Justice in 2013 was also made through a special video presentation.
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.
Individuals selected to receive the 2014 PLAN Excellence Award include:
- Ann Carson and Connie Kelley
Volunteer Paralegals, Neighborhood Legal Services Association
- The Honorable Stewart Greenleaf
Pennsylvania State Senate
Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee
- David L. Hill, Esquire
Philadelphia Legal Assistance
- Harvey F. Strauss, Esquire
Legal Aid of Southeastern Pennsylvania
- Linda L. Timberlake, Esquire
MidPenn Legal Services
- Kenneth N. Try
Paralegal, McNerney, Page, Vanderlin & Hall
- Hon. John Uhler
Court of Common Pleas of York County; and
Executive Director, United Way of York County
- John S. Whitelaw, Esquire
Community Legal Services
- Merril L. Zebe, Esquire
Public Interest Coordinator, Philadelphia Bar Association
Video tributes were presented for each of the award recipients during the awards ceremony in Harrisburg. Those video tributes, long with the special recognition video of the clients who participated in the Pennsylvania Senate Hearings on Access to Justice in 2013, may be viewed at the link below.
More Information on Excellence Awards
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
Chief Justice Castille Asks Lawyers to Support Access to Justice for All
During his final year on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Ronald D. Castille is making his last formal plea to lawyers to support the Commonwealth's civil legal aid programs by providing pro bono service through direct representation and financial contributions.
In a letter to Pennsylvania's approximately 70,000 registered lawyers, the chief justice joined with Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) President Forest N. Myers in calling on attorneys to make a personal commitment to provide pro bono service. The reminder of their ethical duty to provide public service is being widely distributed to the legal community by the courts and PBA.
The chief justice noted in his letter that Senate Judiciary Committee hearings held last year across Pennsylvania under the leadership of Sen. Stewart Greenleaf underscored the great need among the poor for civil legal services. During the hearings one legal aid provider estimated that the entire system is only helping one out of every 10 persons who qualify for such services.
"Every component of the justice system is offering support, but it is the volunteer efforts of attorneys - whether in direct representation of clients or further financial support beyond part of the attorney annual registration fee - that are essential for success," Chief Justice Castille said.
The chief justice said that every lawyer in Pennsylvania at present contributes $35 to civil legal aid through the Interest on Lawyers Trust Accounts (IOLTA) portion of annual licensing fees. The IOLTA Board funds legal services for Pennsylvania's poor. Unfortunately, interest rates under 1 percent have had a devastating impact on the annual revenues of IOLTA.
The Pennsylvania Supreme Court also has supported civil legal aid by providing new avenues for funding legal services and by setting up a loan-forgiveness program for legal services attorneys funded by pro hac vice filing fees.
The Pennsylvania Legal Aid Network (PLAN) is the state's coordinated system of organizations providing civil legal aid for those with nowhere else to turn. PLAN, whose programs provide legal assistance and access to the courts for Pennsylvanians whose family income is less than 125 percent of the poverty level, is facing a crisis due to a substantial decrease in funds available for civil legal aid.
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