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This Tech Helps Corporate Lawyers Donate Time to Defend People in Need

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

This Tech Helps Corporate Lawyers Donate Time to Defend People in Need

"A few years ago, Felicity Conrad was working at Skadden Arps, a law firm based in New York City, when she got word of a case very different than the types of corporate disputes she usually handled. A Colombian man and his family were trying to secure asylum in the United States to escape terrorism in their home country, and needed legal assistance in making their case. Conrad took on his case pro-bono and went to immigration court, where she was able to help the family secure asylum.

“After that experience, I looked to my right and looked to my left, and wondered: Why isn’t every single lawyer doing pro-bono work?” Conrad says to Fast Company. Right now, it’s an especially weighty question: As well over 5,000 families have been separated at the U.S. border due to harsh immigration policies and are now seeking aid and protection, and as growing numbers of Americans are evicted from their homes each day in an increasingly unaffordable housing market, the need for free legal assistance is higher than ever. But there’s a gap, Conrad says, between the people in need, and the lawyers who can offer assistance. Estimates show that 80% of people who need legal assistance in this country do not receive it, despite the American Bar Association recommending to its 1.3 million lawyers in the U.S. that they do 50 hours of pro-bono work each year..."

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