Washington Courts: Press Release Detail
Washington Supreme Court Celebrates National Pro Bono WeekOctober 03, 2011
The Washington Supreme Court has issued a proclamation celebrating National Pro Bono Week, October 23-29, 2011.
More than 5,000 public and private attorneys in Washington provide 75,000 hours of free attorney assistance each year to more than 20,000 low-income individuals. This volunteer legal assistance is estimated to be valued in excess of $13 million last year, according to the Washington State Bar Association.
“These attorneys are pillars of our justice system,” said Chief Justice Barbara Madsen. “Thanks to their volunteer efforts, Washingtonians have access to justice despite significant funding and staffing cuts to civil legal aid programs in our state.”
The Court’s proclamation highlights the ever-burgeoning needs of this state’s most vulnerable citizens. Noting the dramatic increase in need by the public for civil legal aid as a consequence of the ongoing economic downturn, including unemployment and the foreclosure crisis, the Court stated, “…timely access to an attorney can mean the difference between shelter and homelessness, food on the table and hunger, economic stability and bankruptcy, productive work and unemployment.”
The proclamation also encourages expansion of attorney volunteer engagement to meet the critical civil justice needs of low and moderate-income people. Current rules of professional conduct set forth an expectation that attorneys provide at least 30 hours of volunteer legal services to persons of limited means who are unable to retain counsel on their own.
# # #
A copy of the proclamation can be found online at the hyperlink above, or at the following direct address: http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/WSBA%20pro%20bono%20week%20proclamation.pdf
Washington Courts Media Contacts:
|Courts | Organizations | News | Opinions | Rules | Forms | Directory | Library|
|Back to Top | Privacy and Disclaimer Notices|