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U.S. Attorney General Holder, ABA President Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III to Discuss the Future of Pro Bono Service

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The growing need for legal services for the country’s most vulnerable populations and the prospect of meeting those needs through public/private partnerships, will top the agenda at the National Pro Bono Summit, Oct. 24-25.

The summit, sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service, will bring together 120 leaders of the legal profession to discuss innovative approaches for involving lawyers in meeting the needs of the nation’s poor. Participants will identify the issues and obstacles to expanding pro bono services and will develop concrete action steps to achieve better delivery of legal services to those who need it most.
 

Who:
Eric H. Holder Jr., U.S. Attorney General
Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III President, American Bar Association

What:
American Bar Association National Pro Bono Summit

When:
Plenary luncheon session Oct. 24 (Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III)
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Wilson Rooms A & B, Mezzanine Level

Plenary luncheon session Oct. 25 (Eric H. Holder Jr.)
Noon – 1:30 p.m. Wilson Rooms A & B, Mezzanine Level

Closing session Oct. 25
4:20 – 4:30 p.m. Wilson Rooms A & B, Mezzanine Level

Where:
Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road NW
Washington, D.C. 20008
 

“If our legal system isn’t accessible for the most vulnerable in our society, then it can’t be just and it won’t be fair,” said Wm. T. (Bill) Robinson III, president of the American Bar Association. “The quality of how we serve humanity as lawyers can be measured by our dedication to the fight for sustainable court and legal aid systems, a new vision for pro bono work and the idea that we have a responsibility to do good.”

Robinson will speak at noon on Oct. 24. As president of the ABA, Robinson has challenged lawyers to increase the pro bono service they provide. He has also shone the spotlight on lawyers who are having a profound impact on their communities around the world.  

U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. will deliver keynote remarks at noon on Oct. 25. He is expected to address the leadership responsibility of organizations within the profession.

The summit is part of the ABA’s annual Celebrate Pro Bono Week, during which lawyers, and many groups in the legal community host events that focus on delivery of pro bono legal services to the poor and highlight the commitment pro bono lawyers provide daily to our citizens.

This year, local organizers have planned more than 600 events in 45 states. A complete list of pro bono events around the nation can be found online at http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/.  Celebrate Pro Bono Week and the national summit are sponsored by the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

With the poverty rate at 15 percent, the highest it has been since 1993, more than 60 million people qualify for civil legal services. As part of an ongoing public conversation, the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service is contacting lawyers for their opinions on how best to meet the growing needs for pro bono in the future. The conversation on these issues may be joined at: www.celebrateprobono.wordpress.com.

With nearly 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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