Message from the 2009 ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service
There are hundreds of thousands of lawyers in America who donate an average of more than 40 hours each year in free legal services to Americans of limited means. Without that help, the concept of "justice for all" would be a hollow shell. We dedicate this week to honor those selfless volunteers.
But even with this generous pro bono help, and the devoted work of our nation's public interest law professionals, over 80 percent of the legal needs of America's poor remain unmet. This number will grow as more Americans than ever slip into poverty. We also dedicate this week to the quest for more volunteers to help meet that need.
This issue is not just one for the legal profession but, rather, for everyone who believes in equal access to justice as well as ensuring full and fair enjoyment of legal rights to all. So we share this week of celebration with our clients and civic communities, to help make volunteer services for the poor a joint effort by all who are able to help.
May this be a week of joy, of progress toward a better America for all of us and of new partnerships among our diverse communities.
Mark I. Schickman, Chair
ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service