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Celebrate Pro Bono

New Mexico Bar Commissioners Re-energize Pro Bono Committees With Financial Support

Friday, August 27, 2010

  • Organization: State Bar of New Mexico

The Board of Bar Commissioners of the State Bar of New Mexico gave the state’s judicial district pro bono committees a real boost this year by providing a $24,000 pool to support legal service projects throughout the state.

Formed by the New Mexico Supreme Court and overseen by the Access to Justice Commission, 16 judicial district committees have worked for over three years doing the groundwork needed to get pro bono activities up and running. Until now, each district committee was responsible for financing its own operations.  In an intentionally grassroots process, each committee accessed the needs and resources of their communities and formulated their own plans. That groundwork is now largely finished. It was time, the BBC decided, to give them the support they need to accomplish their goals and bring their plans to fruition.

For years, the annual dues form has provided a means by which members of the State Bar can contribute to various pro bono activities and initiatives. Beginning in July of this year, a $24,000 pool was specifically designated to reimburse pro bono committees for expenses related to their various projects. This support helps the committees implement their plans, which includes renting space and paying for needed equipment and furnishings for legal fair, seminars, and other initiatives for delivering legal services.

“The enthusiasm this has generated among the pro bono committees is tremendous,” said State Pro Bono Coordinator Amy LaFaver. “It has really energized them for the work they hope to accomplish this year and will have a positive impact on the continued state-wide delivery of legal services to those in need.”

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