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Lawrence J. Beaser to be Awarded the 2016 Honorable Louis H. Pollak Champion of the Public Interest Award

3 hours 28 min ago

Larry Beaser - Blank Rome LLPThe Philadelphia Bar Foundation is thrilled to announce its decision to present Lawrence J. Beaser, Esq., Partner, Blank Rome LLP with The Honorable Louis H. Pollak Champion of the Public Interest Award

In announcing this award, Steven Bizar, Esq., Foundation President and Partner at Dechert LLP stated, “It is such a special occasion for the Bar Foundation to recognize Larry as a true champion of accomplishing access to justice for all. Larry is an extraordinary friend and supporter of the public interest community and his career long efforts have greatly advanced the legal aid mission of the Foundation for those struggling with poverty, abuse, and discrimination.” 

This important and prestigious honor will be officially presented at the Access to Justice Benefit of the Bar Foundation on Saturday evening, November 5, 2016 at the Independence Seaport Museum. 

“We truly look forward to giving this award to Larry at our annual benefit,” said Benefit Co-Chair, Deborah Gross, Esq., Bar Association Chancellor-Elect, Kaufman, Coren & Ress, P.C. “His commitment to philanthropy on behalf of legal aid and other nonprofits is a model for all attorneys,” added Tricia Horter, Esq., Citizens Bank, N.A. 

Larry has long served as the Philadelphia Bar Association’s board representative at The Philadelphia Foundation, counsel to the Bar Association, and a board member of numerous nonprofits. 

The Honorable Louis H. Pollak Champion of the Public Interest Award is presented by the Philadelphia Bar Foundation on special occasions to a lawyer who has been a true champion of the public interest legal community. The Pollak Award honors a lawyer, in private practice, who throughout his or her career has provided extraordinary service, including through support of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation, to the mission of accomplishing access to justice for all. 

Robert C. (Bob) Heim, a partner at Dechert LLP, received the inaugural Pollak Award in 2014. 

The Pollak Award is a special award in memory of a remarkable man. As a lawyer, jurist and citizen, Judge Pollak championed the rights of the underprivileged in our community. With the greatest sensitivity and commensurate wisdom and intellect, Judge Pollak advanced the public interest, by his commitment to civil rights and the rights of all. It is a great honor that his wife has allowed the Bar Foundation to present this award in his name. More information is found online at http://www.philabarfoundation.org/grants-andawards/awards/honorable-louis-h-pollak-award

Larry Beaser was selected to receive the Pollak Award both to honor his lifetime of service and to recognize his exceptional service to and leadership on the Board of Managers of The Philadelphia Foundation (TPF). He has been a member of the TPF board for 20 years, serving as chair for seven and a half years, and now serves as Chair Emeritus. 

The Bar Foundation and TPF are partners in promoting greater philanthropy and stronger nonprofits to meet the most pressing community needs. TPF is one of America’s oldest community foundations (founded in 1918) and is committed to improving the quality of life in Greater Philadelphia. 

“Larry’s steady leadership, intellect, passion, and devotion to TPF and the community have brought great benefit to the people of our region and have made nonprofit organizations stronger,” said Pedro A. Ramos, TPF’s President and CEO. 

Larry is a longstanding member of the Bar Foundation’s Hamilton Circle, signifying at least $10,000 in donations over time. He held the position of Chancellor of the Philadelphia Bar Association in 1994, and he currently serves as Counsel to the Association’s Board of Governors. Larry has been a board member for several nonprofits and, in addition to serving as Chair Emeritus and a member of TPF’s board, is currently an Advisory Board Member for Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a grantee of the Bar Foundation. Each year Larry provides over 130 hours of pro bono service, including pro bono representation of Bar Foundation grantees. In government service, Larry previously was chief legal counsel to Pennsylvania Gov. Milton J. Shapp and a Deputy Attorney General. As a partner of Blank Rome LLP, he counsels individuals and entities in the fields of nonprofit and for-profit business law, health and health insurance law, and government law. 

The Philadelphia Bar Foundation embodies the legal community’s commitment to the fundamental principal of equal access to justice for all people, particularly those struggling with poverty, abuse and discrimination. The mission of the Bar Foundation and its grants, training, and other forms of support for legal aid nonprofits reflect the core professional values that are binding on all attorneys. 

As stated in the Preamble to the Pennsylvania Rules of Professional Conduct, a “lawyer should be mindful of deficiencies in the administration of justice and of the fact that the poor, and sometimes persons who are not poor, cannot afford adequate legal assistance. Therefore, all lawyers should devote professional time and resources and use civic influence to ensure equal access to our system of justice for all those who because of economic or social barriers cannot afford or secure adequate legal counsel. A lawyer should aid the legal profession in pursuing these objectives and should help the bar regulate itself in the public interest.” (emphasis added). 

 

Registration Open for 2016 NLADA Annual Conference

5 hours 39 min ago

National Legal Aid and Defender Association logo.Registration is now open for the 2016 National Legal Aid and Defender Association (NLADA) Annual Conference, "Advocacy at a Crossroads: Equality, Justice and Human Rights". The conference will take place from November 9 through 12, 2016 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. The Early Bird Registration deadline is September 16 to get the best rate. 

The NLADA Annual Conference is the leading national training event of the year for the civil legal aid, public defense and public interest law communities, The conference will offer advocates substantive information and professional skills training, recognition of excellence among our peers, and a unique networking opportunity for all in attendance.Continuing legal education credit is also offered in most jurisdictions.

Visit the Annual Conference home page for the most up-to-date information about the conference. There, you will find the workshop program, preconference training opportunities, travel information, registration and more information about the conference.

NLADA members receive significant discounts on registration fees. To learn more about the benefits of membership in the NLADA, visit the membership pages.

Register for the conference.

 

PA Legal Aid Network Seeks Applicants for MLK Fellowship Positions

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 1:52pm

Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship and Fellowship Program logoPennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. is seeking applicants for two fellowship positions in its Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship program.

One fellowship is a two-year position at Northwestern Legal Services in Erie and the other fellowship is a one-year position at Friends of Farmworkers, in their Pittsburgh office.

The position at Northwestern Legal Services involves a general poverty law practice including, but not limited to, family, housing, consumer, and public benefits related issues.

Applicants must be new to practice attorney licensed in Pennsylvania with a commitment to public interest law. Will consider recent law school graduates sitting for July 2016 Bar Exam. However, a formal offer of employment is contingent upon passing the bar. Spanish fluency is helpful. Successful candidate must be willing to travel.

The Friends of Farmworkers position involves providing legal representation to low-wage immigrant and migrant workers in western and northwestern Pennsylvania. The position also includes outreach which will largely take place in the northwestern region of the state. Significant driving is required.

Applicants must be new to practice attorney licensed in Pennsylvania with a commitment to public interest law. Consideration will be given to recent law school graduates sitting for July 2016 Bar Exam.

Excellent Spanish language skills required. Other languages are helpful and welcomed. Excellent organization, time management and interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and independently are a plus. Successful candidate must have a valid driver’s license and vehicle for work-related travel. Strong motivation to address exploitation of immigrant workers in low-wage industries is preferred.

Fellows are assigned mentors and supervised by experienced attorneys. Salary and benefits are determined by the host program. In addition, loan repayment assistance (LRA), up to $11,000 is available during the first two years of employment. The fellowship is intended to support and promote new lawyers who are interested in long term public interest careers. Employment is not limited to two years.

More Information on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Program

PA Legal Aid Network Seeks Applicants for MLK Fellowship Positions

Fri, 08/19/2016 - 1:52pm

Martin Luther King, Jr. Summer Internship and Fellowship Program logoPennsylvania Legal Aid Network, Inc. is seeking applicants for two fellowship positions in its Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship program.

One fellowship is a two-year position at Northwestern Legal Services in Erie and the other fellowship is a one-year position at Friends of Farmworkers, in their Pittsburgh office.

The position at Northwestern Legal Services involves a general poverty law practice including, but not limited to, family, housing, consumer, and public benefits related issues.

Applicants must be new to practice attorney licensed in Pennsylvania with a commitment to public interest law. Will consider recent law school graduates sitting for July 2016 Bar Exam. However, a formal offer of employment is contingent upon passing the bar. Spanish fluency is helpful. Successful candidate must be willing to travel.

The Friends of Farmworkers position involves providing legal representation to low-wage immigrant and migrant workers in western and northwestern Pennsylvania. The position also includes outreach which will largely take place in the northwestern region of the state. Significant driving is required.

Applicants must be new to practice attorney licensed in Pennsylvania with a commitment to public interest law. Consideration will be given to recent law school graduates sitting for July 2016 Bar Exam.

Excellent Spanish language skills required. Other languages are helpful and welcomed. Excellent organization, time management and interpersonal skills and the ability to work collaboratively and independently are a plus. Successful candidate must have a valid driver’s license and vehicle for work-related travel. Strong motivation to address exploitation of immigrant workers in low-wage industries is preferred.

Fellows are assigned mentors and supervised by experienced attorneys. Salary and benefits are determined by the host program. In addition, loan repayment assistance (LRA), up to $11,000 is available during the first two years of employment. The fellowship is intended to support and promote new lawyers who are interested in long term public interest careers. Employment is not limited to two years.

More Information on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Fellowship Program

ABA Military Pro Bono Project - Summer 2016 Newsletter for Volunteer Attorneys

Mon, 08/15/2016 - 8:32pm
 

PRO BONO ATTORNEY NEWSLETTER Summer 2016

 

News and Events

FREE CLE: Effectively Representing the Veteran Client: Legal and Cultural Basics 

This month's ABA Free CLE Series webinar will provide an analytic framework to understand who is a "veteran" under the law, what rights and benefits attach to that status, key issue identification, and cultural practices for attorneys serving veterans in a system where goodwill has not always yielded good outcomes.

  • Date: August 15, 2016
  • Time: 1:00 PM - 2:35 PM ET
  • Where: Webinar
  • Credits: 1.50 General CLE Credit Hours
  • ABA Member Price: FREE

Operation Stand-By 2016 Survey

Already signed up with Operation Stand-By? If so, and you have not already completed this survey, we need your feedback to help us provide the most effective attorney-to-attorney guidance to military attorneys. Click HERE to answer a short survey. Please note that this survey does not address participation with pro bono representation for cases through the Military Pro Bono Project.

View the latest news on military and veterans issues and pro bono legal aid, events and CLEs, and the LAMP CLE webpage.

 

Case Spotlight

Read here about an overseas sailor who was able to care for her homeless father with help from her pro bono attorney.

Find additional case stories on our blog to see how you, our volunteers, are successfully helping military families.

 

Get Involved

ABA Military Pro Bono Project: Pro Bono Representation

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project accepts case referrals from military legal assistance offices anywhere in the world on behalf of junior enlisted servicemembers facing civil legal issues, and it places these cases with pro bono attorneys where the legal assistance is needed in the U.S.

Explore pro bono case opportunities on our website, which is updated daily. 

  

Operation Stand-By: Providing Legal Guidance to Military Attorneys

Through the Military Pro Bono Project’s Operation Stand-By, you may offer to provide attorney-to-attorney guidance to military attorneys so they can further assist their servicemember clients. If not already signed up with Operation Stand-By, join by logging onto the Project website to update your profile by clicking on “I am registering to join the Project's Operation Stand-By."

Already signed up with Operation Stand-By? Please log onto the Project website to review your profile to ensure that your contact information and substantive legal areas of interest are up-to-date.

 

 

 

  Education

Useful Books in the ABA Web Store:

The American Bar Association Legal Guide for Military Families: Legal resource for servicemembers, veterans, and their families.

A Judge’s Benchbook for the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act: Information for judges of the provisions that protect servicemembers while on active duty.

The Military Divorce Handbook: Resource for representing servicemembers and spouses. 

Ripped Off!: Guide for military personnel about certain types of sales, scams and abusive commercial practices.

Veterans Appeals Guidebook:
Guide to representing veterans in the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims.

 

ABA Military Pro Bono Project’s Online Library:

The ABA Military Pro Bono Project has an online library filled with resources that focus on legal issues faced by servicemembers, veterans, and military family members. Log onto the website and visit the Library.

 

Support Us

Along with our Star Ranking Supporters, special thanks to the following:
ABA Section of Antitrust Law
ABA Section of Litigation
Holland & Knight LLP
Lockheed Martin

ABA Logo

You received this email because you have registered as a member of the ABA Military Pro Bono Project and/or the ABA Veterans' Claims Assistance Network. To edit or cancel your profile, log onto www.militaryprobono.org. If you have questions, contact the Project Director, Mary C. Meixner, at mary.meixner@americanbar.org.



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Lorrie Albert Takes Over as President of National Conference on Bar Foundations

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 8:27am

Lorrie Albert, Esq. Lorrie K. Albert, Associate Executive Director of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, is the new President of the National Conference on Bar Foundations. She officially took office on Aug. 6 and will hold the position for one year; she will also continue in her role at the ACBF.

The NCBF serves more than 200 bar foundations throughout the United States. The organization’s mission is to advance the works of bar foundations by promoting law-related philanthropy and to serve as a resource for bar foundations across the country, helping them to carry out their charitable missions.

As Associate Executive Director at the ACBF, Albert directs the daily operations and fundraising efforts of the foundation, known as “the heart of Pittsburgh’s legal community.” The ACBF oversees numerous pro bono, charitable and educational programs designed to help those in need. In her role as NCBF president, Albert will be in charge of developing the organization’s strategic plan. She will also establish board priorities, identify speakers and develop programing designed to help bar foundation leaders across the country.

“I am excited to begin my year as president of the NCBF. Holding this position is a great honor, as well as an enormous responsibility,” she said. “Increasing membership and strengthening the relationships between bar foundations and bar associations are among the goals I have for my term. By taking on this role, I hope to do my part to increase the impact the ACBF and bar foundations have in communities across the country.”

Albert was elected President-elect by the NCBF membership in August 2015. She replaces Leonard Pataki, whose term as president ended earlier this month.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure serving on the National Conference of Bar Foundations Board with Lorrie,” said Pataki, vice president and general counsel with Sheehan Pipeline Construction in Tulsa, Okla. “Her dedication to the NCBF, its mission and its members is amazing, but not nearly as amazing as her energy level. I just hope I can keep up. The NCBF is in good hands with Lorrie as its president, and I’m looking forward to working with her in what I know will be a great year.”

Richard S. Wiedman, President of the ACBF, said that Albert’s election is a testament to her dedication and commitment to the success of the foundation.

“Lorrie is certainly very deserving of this honor. Her accomplishments at the ACBF have been astounding, and as she takes her knowledge of legal-related charitable pursuits to the national stage it will reinforce the reputation that the ACBF currently enjoys in no small part as a result of her ongoing efforts here in Pittsburgh,” said Wiedman, an attorney with Eckert Seamans. “Everyone involved with the ACBF – our staff, volunteer attorneys, trustees and the individuals we serve – can take pride in Lorrie’s election to this important position.”

David Blaner, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Bar Association and ACBF, echoed those thoughts.

“I have the pleasure of watching Lorrie perform her work every day, and she truly has the passion and unique skills necessary to excel in the bar foundation environment,” Blaner said. “She has taken our foundation to new heights, and I am confident she will do the same with the NCBF.”
 

About Lorrie Albert

Attorney Lorrie Albert has been with the ACBF since 2005, initially joining as Pro Bono Coordinator. She became Foundation Director in 2007, before being promoted to Associate Executive Director in 2014, her current role. During her time with the organization, she has created more than 20 new pro bono programs and fundraising initiatives. Today, the ACBF oversees 50 charitable and pro bono programs, as well as 16 named charitable funds. Among the most noteworthy of these programs is Attorneys Against Hunger, which has raised more than $1.5 million to fight hunger in Allegheny County. During the 2015-16 fiscal year, the ACBF distributed more than $300,000 in grants, scholarships and financial assistance to help those in need, including legal assistance for low-income individuals.

Prior to joining the ACBF, Albert worked as an attorney at KidsVoice, representing dependent children in Juvenile Court. Previously, she worked in plaintiffs’ class action litigation, focusing on consumer protection law. She also worked with the insurance defense bar, concentrating on medical malpractice, product liability and general liability claims. At the beginning of her career, she was law clerk for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Albert is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American bar associations, the Executive Women’s Council of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council and Partners for Philanthropic Planning. She also serves as a Hearing Committee Member of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Albert graduated from the the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1991; she earned a bachelor of Science degree from Pitt in 1988. She and her husband, Craig Fischman, live in Mt. Lebanon with their daughters, Alyssa and Amanda

Lorrie Albert Takes Over as President of National Conference on Bar Foundations

Fri, 08/12/2016 - 8:27am

Lorrie Albert, Esq. Lorrie K. Albert, Associate Executive Director of the Allegheny County Bar Foundation, is the new President of the National Conference on Bar Foundations. She officially took office on Aug. 6 and will hold the position for one year; she will also continue in her role at the ACBF.

The NCBF serves more than 200 bar foundations throughout the United States. The organization’s mission is to advance the works of bar foundations by promoting law-related philanthropy and to serve as a resource for bar foundations across the country, helping them to carry out their charitable missions.

As Associate Executive Director at the ACBF, Albert directs the daily operations and fundraising efforts of the foundation, known as “the heart of Pittsburgh’s legal community.” The ACBF oversees numerous pro bono, charitable and educational programs designed to help those in need. In her role as NCBF president, Albert will be in charge of developing the organization’s strategic plan. She will also establish board priorities, identify speakers and develop programing designed to help bar foundation leaders across the country.

“I am excited to begin my year as president of the NCBF. Holding this position is a great honor, as well as an enormous responsibility,” she said. “Increasing membership and strengthening the relationships between bar foundations and bar associations are among the goals I have for my term. By taking on this role, I hope to do my part to increase the impact the ACBF and bar foundations have in communities across the country.”

Albert was elected President-elect by the NCBF membership in August 2015. She replaces Leonard Pataki, whose term as president ended earlier this month.

“It’s been an absolute pleasure serving on the National Conference of Bar Foundations Board with Lorrie,” said Pataki, vice president and general counsel with Sheehan Pipeline Construction in Tulsa, Okla. “Her dedication to the NCBF, its mission and its members is amazing, but not nearly as amazing as her energy level. I just hope I can keep up. The NCBF is in good hands with Lorrie as its president, and I’m looking forward to working with her in what I know will be a great year.”

Richard S. Wiedman, President of the ACBF, said that Albert’s election is a testament to her dedication and commitment to the success of the foundation.

“Lorrie is certainly very deserving of this honor. Her accomplishments at the ACBF have been astounding, and as she takes her knowledge of legal-related charitable pursuits to the national stage it will reinforce the reputation that the ACBF currently enjoys in no small part as a result of her ongoing efforts here in Pittsburgh,” said Wiedman, an attorney with Eckert Seamans. “Everyone involved with the ACBF – our staff, volunteer attorneys, trustees and the individuals we serve – can take pride in Lorrie’s election to this important position.”

David Blaner, Executive Director of the Allegheny County Bar Association and ACBF, echoed those thoughts.

“I have the pleasure of watching Lorrie perform her work every day, and she truly has the passion and unique skills necessary to excel in the bar foundation environment,” Blaner said. “She has taken our foundation to new heights, and I am confident she will do the same with the NCBF.”
 

About Lorrie Albert

Attorney Lorrie Albert has been with the ACBF since 2005, initially joining as Pro Bono Coordinator. She became Foundation Director in 2007, before being promoted to Associate Executive Director in 2014, her current role. During her time with the organization, she has created more than 20 new pro bono programs and fundraising initiatives. Today, the ACBF oversees 50 charitable and pro bono programs, as well as 16 named charitable funds. Among the most noteworthy of these programs is Attorneys Against Hunger, which has raised more than $1.5 million to fight hunger in Allegheny County. During the 2015-16 fiscal year, the ACBF distributed more than $300,000 in grants, scholarships and financial assistance to help those in need, including legal assistance for low-income individuals.

Prior to joining the ACBF, Albert worked as an attorney at KidsVoice, representing dependent children in Juvenile Court. Previously, she worked in plaintiffs’ class action litigation, focusing on consumer protection law. She also worked with the insurance defense bar, concentrating on medical malpractice, product liability and general liability claims. At the beginning of her career, she was law clerk for the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.
Albert is a member of the Allegheny County, Pennsylvania and American bar associations, the Executive Women’s Council of Greater Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Planned Giving Council and Partners for Philanthropic Planning. She also serves as a Hearing Committee Member of the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Albert graduated from the the University of Pittsburgh School of Law in 1991; she earned a bachelor of Science degree from Pitt in 1988. She and her husband, Craig Fischman, live in Mt. Lebanon with their daughters, Alyssa and Amanda

NAACP Chief Legal Officer Keynotes ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards, Honors 5 Legal Luminaries

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 9:01am

Sherrilyn Ifill, keynote speaker at the  American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Awards luncheon held Aug. 6 during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, apologized to the audience, saying  she was speaking a “little bit to the choir” when talking about the importance of lawyers.

But, she added, “I don’t think there is a more important moment to talk to lawyers about the moment we’re in in this country and what our role must be.”

Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, cautioned that the spate of fatal shootings of African–American men in St. Louis, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Staten Island, N.Y., Baton Rouge, Columbus, Ohio, and elsewhere around the nation and the perception of unequal justice in the criminal justice system had resulted in “a crisis of confidence in the rule of law.”

As a civil rights lawyer, Ifill said she was always optimistic no matter how difficult things got, “but I do want to impress on you that things are quite difficult at this moment.”

African-Americans and other minorities have “largely not been believed,” but “videos have made it impossible for people to avoid the truth,” Ifill said of the tragic police-involved killings.

“If the state can take your life when you pose no threat and no one is held responsible for it, then you are indeed a second-class citizen,” she continued. “For those of us who believe in the rule of law this is something we have to pay attention to.”

“There is a lot of pain out there that mainstream America is just becoming aware of,” Ifill said, adding that lawyers, who were automatically taken to be leaders, must find new  ways of solving old racial problems.

“I have no doubt that this moment is a moment that is so difficult because it is a transformative moment,” she said.  “When a wound is laid bare then we can figure out the proper treatment.”

She called on lawyers to step up to the challenge, saying it was a responsibility that they “owed,” and noting that what has made the United States “a country in which the principles of equality and justice are touchstones” came from the work of organizations like the Legal Defense Fund.

The hallmark of LDF lawyers like Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, civil rights litigants who more than half a century ago argued the landmark, Brown v Board of Education case that desegregated public schools, was, Ifill said, their “duality of sight.” They had the ability to see the limitations of the society but “also to look around the corner and envision what the future can be like, envision what this country could be.”

Marshall, who was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 and became the first African-American Supreme Court justice, “believed in the rule of law when the rule of law didn’t believe in him,” Ifill said. Click here to view a video of Ifill's Keynote Address.

Ifill’s address preceded the presentations of the 2016 Pro Bono Publico Awards to five recipients who demonstrated outstanding commitment to the kind of volunteer legal services that help the least of the nation’s citizens. Click on a recipient's name to watch video of their acceptance:

  • U.S. based lawyers of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP of New York, who dedicated more than 63,000 hours to pro bono work in 2015.
  • John O. Goss of Goss and Fentress, Norfolk, Va., a legal aid lawyer who 40 years ago helped some 1,500 Social Security disability recipients in rural Appalachia keep their benefits.
     
  • Renee M. Schoenberg of DLA Piper, Chicago, for her extensive charitable work, both in the U.S. and abroad.
     
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman of Katten Muchin Roseman LLP of Chicago, for starting a legal clinic in a Chicago pubic school to provide basic legal assistance to members of the school community and support education.
     
  • Hillary Gaston Walsh of The Law Office of Hillary Gaston Walsh, South Korea, for her representation of indigent asylum-seekers in their appeals to Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Pro Bono Publico Awards program is sponsored by the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

NAACP Chief Legal Officer Keynotes ABA Pro Bono Publico Awards, Honors 5 Legal Luminaries

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 9:01am

Sherrilyn Ifill, keynote speaker at the  American Bar Association Pro Bono Publico Awards luncheon held Aug. 6 during the ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco, apologized to the audience, saying  she was speaking a “little bit to the choir” when talking about the importance of lawyers.

But, she added, “I don’t think there is a more important moment to talk to lawyers about the moment we’re in in this country and what our role must be.”

Ifill, president and director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, cautioned that the spate of fatal shootings of African–American men in St. Louis, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Staten Island, N.Y., Baton Rouge, Columbus, Ohio, and elsewhere around the nation and the perception of unequal justice in the criminal justice system had resulted in “a crisis of confidence in the rule of law.”

As a civil rights lawyer, Ifill said she was always optimistic no matter how difficult things got, “but I do want to impress on you that things are quite difficult at this moment.”

African-Americans and other minorities have “largely not been believed,” but “videos have made it impossible for people to avoid the truth,” Ifill said of the tragic police-involved killings.

“If the state can take your life when you pose no threat and no one is held responsible for it, then you are indeed a second-class citizen,” she continued. “For those of us who believe in the rule of law this is something we have to pay attention to.”

“There is a lot of pain out there that mainstream America is just becoming aware of,” Ifill said, adding that lawyers, who were automatically taken to be leaders, must find new  ways of solving old racial problems.

“I have no doubt that this moment is a moment that is so difficult because it is a transformative moment,” she said.  “When a wound is laid bare then we can figure out the proper treatment.”

She called on lawyers to step up to the challenge, saying it was a responsibility that they “owed,” and noting that what has made the United States “a country in which the principles of equality and justice are touchstones” came from the work of organizations like the Legal Defense Fund.

The hallmark of LDF lawyers like Thurgood Marshall and Constance Baker Motley, civil rights litigants who more than half a century ago argued the landmark, Brown v Board of Education case that desegregated public schools, was, Ifill said, their “duality of sight.” They had the ability to see the limitations of the society but “also to look around the corner and envision what the future can be like, envision what this country could be.”

Marshall, who was nominated to the U.S. Supreme Court by President Lyndon Johnson in 1967 and became the first African-American Supreme Court justice, “believed in the rule of law when the rule of law didn’t believe in him,” Ifill said. Click here to view a video of Ifill's Keynote Address.

Ifill’s address preceded the presentations of the 2016 Pro Bono Publico Awards to five recipients who demonstrated outstanding commitment to the kind of volunteer legal services that help the least of the nation’s citizens. Click on a recipient's name to watch video of their acceptance:

  • U.S. based lawyers of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP of New York, who dedicated more than 63,000 hours to pro bono work in 2015.
  • John O. Goss of Goss and Fentress, Norfolk, Va., a legal aid lawyer who 40 years ago helped some 1,500 Social Security disability recipients in rural Appalachia keep their benefits.
     
  • Renee M. Schoenberg of DLA Piper, Chicago, for her extensive charitable work, both in the U.S. and abroad.
     
  • Katten Muchin Rosenman of Katten Muchin Roseman LLP of Chicago, for starting a legal clinic in a Chicago pubic school to provide basic legal assistance to members of the school community and support education.
     
  • Hillary Gaston Walsh of The Law Office of Hillary Gaston Walsh, South Korea, for her representation of indigent asylum-seekers in their appeals to Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Pro Bono Publico Awards program is sponsored by the Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

ABA President Linda Klein Announces Major Initiative on Legal Services for Veterans

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 8:20am

Linda Klein, Esq., President, American Bar AssociationAmerican Bar Association President Linda Klein has announced a major effort to mobilize lawyers on behalf of enhanced legal services for the nation’s veterans.

Persistent combat exposure, redeployment and separations have meant that too many of those who have served our country return from active duty to a variety of legal problem — including evictions, child-custody disputes or wrongful denial of benefits, Klein said.

“These are men and women who have signed a piece of paper saying they would die for us, for our country, in defense of our liberty,” she said in outlining her plans at the ABA Annual Meeting that concluded here Tuesday. “When our justice system fails these people, we as a profession must answer our own calls and oath on their behalf.”

Klein said that in order to expand on the outstanding work the ABA already does to help active-duty military and veterans, she has launched a Veterans Legal Services Initiative, led by a 20-member volunteer commission. The commission will be headed by Nanette DeRenzi, a retired three-star vice admiral, and Dwight Smith, a Tulsa attorney who has held key ABA leadership roles.

The commission will use the vast expertise of ABA membership and extensive nationwide relationships, Klein said, to build a comprehensive online resource that informs veterans of legal issues that could affect them and directs them to relevant local resources and legal providers.

Among the actions expected to be undertaken as part of the initiative:

  • Engaging with law schools and bar associations to promote legal-services incubators to assist veterans while providing valuable training for new and underemployed lawyers.
  • Promoting medical-legal partnerships that pair doctors with lawyers to solve clients’ underlying legal problems and encourage legal check-ups for veterans, their families and caregivers.
  • Extending National Pro Bono Celebration week activities in late October to include Veteran’s Day and sponsoring an additional volunteer activity around Memorial Day.

“As we lay the groundwork for this effort,” Klein said, “I hope we will create a legacy that will help millions of veterans who so bravely served our nation.”

Click here for more information on the initiative, including video comments by Linda Klein on the launch of the initiative, from the ABA Journal.

ABA President Linda Klein Announces Major Initiative on Legal Services for Veterans

Thu, 08/11/2016 - 8:20am

Linda Klein, Esq., President, American Bar AssociationAmerican Bar Association President Linda Klein has announced a major effort to mobilize lawyers on behalf of enhanced legal services for the nation’s veterans.

Persistent combat exposure, redeployment and separations have meant that too many of those who have served our country return from active duty to a variety of legal problem — including evictions, child-custody disputes or wrongful denial of benefits, Klein said.

“These are men and women who have signed a piece of paper saying they would die for us, for our country, in defense of our liberty,” she said in outlining her plans at the ABA Annual Meeting that concluded here Tuesday. “When our justice system fails these people, we as a profession must answer our own calls and oath on their behalf.”

Klein said that in order to expand on the outstanding work the ABA already does to help active-duty military and veterans, she has launched a Veterans Legal Services Initiative, led by a 20-member volunteer commission. The commission will be headed by Nanette DeRenzi, a retired three-star vice admiral, and Dwight Smith, a Tulsa attorney who has held key ABA leadership roles.

The commission will use the vast expertise of ABA membership and extensive nationwide relationships, Klein said, to build a comprehensive online resource that informs veterans of legal issues that could affect them and directs them to relevant local resources and legal providers.

Among the actions expected to be undertaken as part of the initiative:

  • Engaging with law schools and bar associations to promote legal-services incubators to assist veterans while providing valuable training for new and underemployed lawyers.
  • Promoting medical-legal partnerships that pair doctors with lawyers to solve clients’ underlying legal problems and encourage legal check-ups for veterans, their families and caregivers.
  • Extending National Pro Bono Celebration week activities in late October to include Veteran’s Day and sponsoring an additional volunteer activity around Memorial Day.

“As we lay the groundwork for this effort,” Klein said, “I hope we will create a legacy that will help millions of veterans who so bravely served our nation.”

Click here for more information on the initiative, including video comments by Linda Klein on the launch of the initiative, from the ABA Journal.

On-Demand CLE: Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality in the Digital Age

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 9:02am

LexisNexis University is offering a free on-demand CLE program entitled Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality in the Digital Age

As technological development moves seemingly at the speed of light, lawyers' ethical duties to zealously protect privilege and confidentiality are more complex than ever before. This course includes discussion on:

  1. Maintaining client confidentiality with employees and agents, including discussion of attorney’s obligations to understand data and data transmission;
     
  2. Maintaining security with opposing counsel communications, including watching metadata. Also, covering what happens with inadvertent disclosure, such as using private agreements and protective orders, and discussion of the federal rules provisions and select state provisions regarding the recipient attorney’s obligations.
     
  3. Maintaining client security in the age of social media, including discussion on attorney responsibilities and obligations regarding use of social media as well as counseling clients on use of social media with regard to client confidentiality.

Run Time: 94 Minutes
Presenter(s): Jeffrey Loop, Alan Lewis

This program has been approved for 1.5 Ethics Credits in Pennsylvania.

Attendance at this event is categorized as "distance learning" by the PA CLE Board.  Under current  rules,  lawyers have the option of completing six (6) hours per compliance year of distance learning by participating in pre-approved, interactive, Internet or computer based CLE programs. 

More Information and Registration

On-Demand CLE: Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality in the Digital Age

Tue, 08/09/2016 - 9:02am

LexisNexis University is offering a free on-demand CLE program entitled Maintaining Attorney-Client Privilege and Confidentiality in the Digital Age

As technological development moves seemingly at the speed of light, lawyers' ethical duties to zealously protect privilege and confidentiality are more complex than ever before. This course includes discussion on:

  1. Maintaining client confidentiality with employees and agents, including discussion of attorney’s obligations to understand data and data transmission;
     
  2. Maintaining security with opposing counsel communications, including watching metadata. Also, covering what happens with inadvertent disclosure, such as using private agreements and protective orders, and discussion of the federal rules provisions and select state provisions regarding the recipient attorney’s obligations.
     
  3. Maintaining client security in the age of social media, including discussion on attorney responsibilities and obligations regarding use of social media as well as counseling clients on use of social media with regard to client confidentiality.

Run Time: 94 Minutes
Presenter(s): Jeffrey Loop, Alan Lewis

This program has been approved for 1.5 Ethics Credits in Pennsylvania.

Attendance at this event is categorized as "distance learning" by the PA CLE Board.  Under current  rules,  lawyers have the option of completing six (6) hours per compliance year of distance learning by participating in pre-approved, interactive, Internet or computer based CLE programs. 

More Information and Registration

Pennsylvania Bar Association Seeking Volunteers for 1ts 'Lawyers Saluting Veterans' Program

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 1:05pm

The Pennsylvania Bar Association is recruiting lawyer volunteers to handle pro bono cases in their areas of practice or expertise for Pennsylvania's military veterans as part of the PBA's "Lawyers Saluting Veterans" program.

Lawyers interested in volunteering for the program should register via the PBA website at www.pabar.org/ public/lsv.asp. Registration requires certification of malpractice insurance. After registering, volunteer lawyers will be able to access electronic documents such as an agreement of representation, a pro bono checklist and a termination letter for use with the veteran clients.

Lawyer volunteers will receive an official certificate of participation for their use in publicizing their involvement in the program.

Veterans in need of pro bono assistance can directly contact those lawyer volunteers who publicize their participation in the program. If the legal matter is one the lawyer does not handle, there is no obligation to take on the veteran as a client. Instead, the volunteer can refer the veteran to the program hotline. The PBA Pro Bono Legal Services Office will also make referrals to volunteer lawyers.

The "Lawyers Saluting Veterans" program is coordinated by the PBA's Pro Bono Office and Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee. For more information call the program hotline at 800-932-0311, ext. 2570; call Gabriele Miller Wagner at 800-932-0311, ext. 2297; or email her at gabriele.miller wagner@pabar.org and put "LSV'' in the subject line.

Pennsylvania Bar Association Seeking Volunteers for 1ts 'Lawyers Saluting Veterans' Program

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 1:05pm

The Pennsylvania Bar Association is recruiting lawyer volunteers to handle pro bono cases in their areas of practice or expertise for Pennsylvania's military veterans as part of the PBA's "Lawyers Saluting Veterans" program.

Lawyers interested in volunteering for the program should register via the PBA website at www.pabar.org/ public/lsv.asp. Registration requires certification of malpractice insurance. After registering, volunteer lawyers will be able to access electronic documents such as an agreement of representation, a pro bono checklist and a termination letter for use with the veteran clients.

Lawyer volunteers will receive an official certificate of participation for their use in publicizing their involvement in the program.

Veterans in need of pro bono assistance can directly contact those lawyer volunteers who publicize their participation in the program. If the legal matter is one the lawyer does not handle, there is no obligation to take on the veteran as a client. Instead, the volunteer can refer the veteran to the program hotline. The PBA Pro Bono Legal Services Office will also make referrals to volunteer lawyers.

The "Lawyers Saluting Veterans" program is coordinated by the PBA's Pro Bono Office and Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee. For more information call the program hotline at 800-932-0311, ext. 2570; call Gabriele Miller Wagner at 800-932-0311, ext. 2297; or email her at gabriele.miller wagner@pabar.org and put "LSV'' in the subject line.

ABA Futures Panel Recommends Sweeping Changes in Delivery of Legal Services

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:22am

The ABA Commission on Future of Legal Services has released its final report & recommendations. The report found that the American public faces significant, unmet legal needs that require considerably more innovation and other efforts to bolster access to affordable legal services.

The commission, releasing findings from a two-year study, offered 10 recommendations to build on past national efforts and to ensure that everyone has meaningful assistance for essential legal means. The recommendations call for sweeping changes to both the civil and criminal systems of justice.

One recommendation, urging state courts to adopt model regulatory objectives for the delivery of legal services, was approved as ABA policy by the House of Delegates in February. Other recommendations have been debated but not embraced by the Association, such as alternative business structures (ABS) for U.S. law firms. As part of a broader recommendation, the commission said future “exploration” of ABS would be “useful.”

The commission’s 10 recommendations, all accompanied by sub-recommendations and supporting materials, are:

  • The legal profession should support the goal of providing some form of effective assistance for essential civil legal needs to all persons otherwise unable to afford a lawyer.
  • Courts should consider regulatory innovations in the area of legal services delivery.
  • All members of the legal profession should keep abreast of relevant technologies.
  • Individuals should have regular legal checkups, and the ABA should create guidelines for lawyers, bar associations and others who develop and administer such checkups.
  • Courts should be accessible, user-centric, and welcoming to all litigants, while ensuring fairness, impartiality and due process.
  • The ABA should establish a Center for Innovation.
  • The legal profession should partner with other disciplines and the public for insights about innovating the delivery of legal services.
  • The legal profession should adopt methods, policies, standards, and practices to best advance diversity and inclusion.
  • The criminal justice system should be reformed.
  • Resources should be vastly expanded to support long-standing efforts that have proven successful in addressing the public’s unmet needs for legal services.

The commission’s report can be found here.

ABA Futures Panel Recommends Sweeping Changes in Delivery of Legal Services

Mon, 08/08/2016 - 10:22am

The ABA Commission on Future of Legal Services has released its final report & recommendations. The report found that the American public faces significant, unmet legal needs that require considerably more innovation and other efforts to bolster access to affordable legal services.

The commission, releasing findings from a two-year study, offered 10 recommendations to build on past national efforts and to ensure that everyone has meaningful assistance for essential legal means. The recommendations call for sweeping changes to both the civil and criminal systems of justice.

One recommendation, urging state courts to adopt model regulatory objectives for the delivery of legal services, was approved as ABA policy by the House of Delegates in February. Other recommendations have been debated but not embraced by the Association, such as alternative business structures (ABS) for U.S. law firms. As part of a broader recommendation, the commission said future “exploration” of ABS would be “useful.”

The commission’s 10 recommendations, all accompanied by sub-recommendations and supporting materials, are:

  • The legal profession should support the goal of providing some form of effective assistance for essential civil legal needs to all persons otherwise unable to afford a lawyer.
  • Courts should consider regulatory innovations in the area of legal services delivery.
  • All members of the legal profession should keep abreast of relevant technologies.
  • Individuals should have regular legal checkups, and the ABA should create guidelines for lawyers, bar associations and others who develop and administer such checkups.
  • Courts should be accessible, user-centric, and welcoming to all litigants, while ensuring fairness, impartiality and due process.
  • The ABA should establish a Center for Innovation.
  • The legal profession should partner with other disciplines and the public for insights about innovating the delivery of legal services.
  • The legal profession should adopt methods, policies, standards, and practices to best advance diversity and inclusion.
  • The criminal justice system should be reformed.
  • Resources should be vastly expanded to support long-standing efforts that have proven successful in addressing the public’s unmet needs for legal services.

The commission’s report can be found here.

NLADA Annual Conference Workshop Proposal DEADLINE Extended to JULY 31

Thu, 07/14/2016 - 9:41am

National Legal Aid and Defender AssociationThe deadline for the submission of Workshop Proposals for the 2016 NLADA Annual Conference has been extended to July 31, 2016. The conference is scheduled for Wednesday, November 9 through Saturday, November 12, 2016 in Indianapolis, IN.

If you have not yet found the right way to propose sharing your great ideas and expertise with your colleagues in the legal aid and public defender communities, you now have two more weeks to submit your proposal. Workshop proposals will be accepted until July 31, 2016.

Conference workshops will be organized into six tracks around the theme of Advocacy at a Crossroads: Equality, Justice, and Human Rights:

  • Board Leadership
  • Civil Legal Aid
  • Client (leadership training)
  • Defender Legal Services
  • Fundraising
  • Joint/Multi (workshops addressing topics that are of interest to more than one of the above categories or are generally applicable to many audiences, including communications, risk management, and technology)

SUBMITTING A WORKSHOP PROPOSAL

To submit a proposal for a workshop at this year's NLADA conference, go to http://www.mynlada.net/. Click on "My Account" to log in or to create a profile if you have not used this system in the past. After you log in, be sure to read the Guidelines and Programing Areas pages before you begin to submit your proposal. Once you are ready to begin, click on "Create Session," complete the required fields, and click the "Save" button at the bottom of the form to submit your proposal for review.

Proposals are due no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on July 31, 2016. If your proposal is chosen, as session leader you will be responsible for submitting additional workshop information, including a final title, description, and presenter bios by September 2, 2016.

Conference Dates: Wednesday, November 9-Saturday, November 12, 2016

Location: Indianapolis, IN (Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, 350 West Maryland Street)

Visit the 2016 Annual Conference home page for more conference information, including how to nominate your colleagues for awards (nominations are due on August 19), travel and hotel accommodations, the conference schedule, or to register.

 

Pennsylvania Bar Association Honors Carol Mills McCarthy with Ernico Pro Bono Advocacy Award

Wed, 07/13/2016 - 7:32am

David K. Trevaskis, PA Bar Association Pro Bono Coordinator; Carol Mills McCarthy, McCarthy McDonald Schulberg & Joy; Bob Racunas, Neighborhood Legal Services Association.Carol Mills McCarthy, a former president of the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Legal Services Association, was recently honored by the Pennsylvania Bar Association with the Jeffrey A. Ernico Award honoring her exceptional pro bono advocacy efforts. 

Pictured at right, David Trevaskis of the PA Bar Association presents the Award to Attorney McCarthy in recognition of her extraordinary volunteerism benefitting the clients of Neighborhood Legal Services Association and the Allegheny County Bar Association’s Pro Bono Center. Bob Racunas, Executive Director of  Neighborhood Legal Services Association, is also pictured.

The Ernico Award celebrates the pro bono accomplishments of Harrisburg attorney Jeffrey A. Ernico and his long-standing commitment to equal justice. It is an occasional award of the PA Bar Association Legal Services to the Public Committee that is given to honor those whose efforts have “resulted in significant improvement in the provision of legal services to the neediest among us.”

McCarthy was nominated by Max Laun, General Counsel of ALCOA and NLSA board member who recently completed his term as NLSA board president, and Robert V. Racunas, executive director of Neighborhood Legal Services Association (NLSA).   In nominating McCarthy for the Enrico Award, Laun said, “Carol knows first-hand the value and necessity of quality legal representation and takes to heart her professional responsibility to help others in our community gain access to the justice system.”

McCarthy is a partner with the Pittsburgh-based McCarthy McDonald Schulberg & Joy, focusing her practice on family law issues, including divorce, child custody, support and property division.  An accomplished attorney, McCarthy is consistently rated as one the region’s top family law attorneys by Super Lawyers. She began her practice of law at NLSA where she represented low income families experiencing a wide variety of difficult family law problems.  Throughout her career, she has unfailingly advocated for pro bono legal services to those unable to pay and has supported legal aid.  Since 2011, McCarthy has taken 217 pro bono cases for NLSA clients needing Protection from Abuse orders or representation in other family law issues.

“Carol’s heart for justice truly beats loudly in providing pro bono legal services to those who couldn’t otherwise access help and we are very proud to call her a member of the NLSA family,” said Racunas. 

Registration Open for 2016 NLADA Annual Conference

Tue, 06/21/2016 - 2:40pm

National Legal Aid and Defender Association logoRegistration is now open for the 2016 NLADA Annual Conference - "Advocacy at a Crossroads: Equality, Justice, and Human Rights". The conference is the leading national training event of the year for the civil legal aid, public defense, and public interest law communities. 

From November 9 through 12 at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown, the conference will offer advocates substantive information and professional skills training, recognition of excellence among our peers, and a unique networking opportunity for all in attendance.

 For conference rates and more information visit the conference registration webpage where you can register to attend. Be sure to register by the Early Bird deadline of September 16 to get the best rate.

The Annual Conference home page provides the most up-to-date information about the conference. There, you will find the overall schedule, the workshop program, pre-conference training opportunities, travel information, registration, and more.

NLADA members receive significant discounts on registration fees. to take advantage of these rates visit the NLADA membership pages to learn more about the benefits of membership.