The American Bar Association (ABA) designated October 23-29, 2016 as Celebrate Pro Bono Week. According to the ABA, the collective civil legal aid effort is meeting only about 20% of the legal needs of low-income people in the United States. Watch or listen to this important message from 2016-17 BAMSL President Eric Kukowski then look below to learn how St. Louis lawyers and their firms can help by joining the St. Louis Pro Bono Challenge.
In partnership with Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, BAMSL implemented this exciting program to encourage and support pro bono, and to publicly recognize those lawyers and law firms who step up to the Challenge. The Challenge formally launched at a lunch event on January 19, 2017, at the Saint Louis Club, during which participating firms signed a ceremonial pledge that is on display at the BAMSL Bar Center. Firms may sign on at any time during the year. To join the Challenge, your firm simply needs to sign the pledge and submit it to BAMSL. Details are available in the announcement letter below. Participating firms pledge to actively encourage pro bono and strive to perform a total of 10 hours of pro bono on average per year per attorney located in St. Louis. So a firm of 50 local attorneys would commit to an annual total of 500 hours. For some firms, this will seem like a low goal that the firm already exceeds. For others, we hope this will be a welcome way to newly promote or enhance pro bono at your firm.
The BAMSL-Fox 2 Call-A-Lawyer program is an important community service program organized by BAMSL's Young Lawyers Division in partnership with Fox 2. The service assists those who may have a legal issue, but aren't sure what to do next. Volunteers are needed to help anonymously man the phones on the third Tuesday of each month from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Please contact either Kayt Kopen or Lindsay McClure-Hartman to volunteer.
Free Legal Answers volunteers are able to log on to provide pro bono service at any time of the day, from anywhere they can access the Internet and as frequently as they wish. Volunteer lawyers choose which questions to answer and can answer anonymously, unless the lawyer chooses otherwise. Professional liability insurance for website answers is maintained by the ABA. Track pro bono service hours through the website. To volunteer, visit the appropriate state website and click the "Volunteer Attorney Registration" link at the top of the page.
Gateway is a nonprofit legal aid law firm dedicated to helping the poor and disabled, focusing primarily on consumer and social security issues.
These workshops, coordinated by Catholic Legal Assistance Ministry, M.I.C.A. Project, and Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates, are targeted to members of the immigrant community, and are spaces where people will be able to work with a volunteer attorney to complete a Power of Attorney form to designate someone to take care of their property or care for their children if, for some reason, they are unable to do so. Volunteer attorneys are needed to assist in advice and preparation of powers of attorney. An orientation will be provided and Spanish interpreters will be available. No prior experience or area of practice is required. Learn more and sign up here.
Provides legal and supportive services to improve the lives of its clients to assist them in obtaining social and economic justice.
Dedicated to helping victims of abuse in times of crisis. LAAW works with legal system, law enforcement and the criminal and civil courts systems.
LSEM is a non-profit organization providing legal assistance to low-income people in civil matters. Areas of client assistance include representation of domestic violence victims, tenants’ rights and other housing matters, public benefits, immigration and human trafficking, children’s access to education, guardianships, and assistance to the elderly. LSEM also has a Community Economic Development Program that provides legal advice to low-income entrepreneurs and non-profits that serve low income communities.
Advocates for Educational Reform (AFER) Program
Volunteer lawyers needed to represent underprivileged children in:
VLAA offers legal and accounting assistance to artists and arts organizations with arts-related legal and accounting problems.