Pro-bono in America: an example well worth studying?

WATSON, Andrew (1998). Pro-bono in America: an example well worth studying? Justice of the Peace., 162 (51,52.), 998-1003, 1016.

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This article, published in two parts, describes provision of legal services for those on low income in the United States , the most striking features of which are an absence of civil legal aid as understood in this country and the comparatively low , and diminishing resources devoted to what is provided. It is against this backcloth , very different from that in Britain, that American lawyers perform pro-bono work. Recounted in this article is the way voluntary work by lawyers in the United States has evolved in practice and developed as a professional obligation and how it is seen as not only beneficial to society but for lawyers and law firms as well. The various ways law firms manage , direct and support pro-bono activity is outlined. These may be of interest to British solicitors firms planning to restructure their voluntary efforts. Next is a description of the work of three organisations , each in a different New England state, which focus and coordinate the voluntary efforts of individual lawyers. Similarities and dissimilarities in how they operate may be observed. Finally the role of American legal education in encouraging participation in pro-bono work is considered. While recognising its place in tackling legal need , none of those involved in its organisation , nor any of the academic legal commentators consulted, saw pro-bono as an adequate substitute for proper government funding of civil legal assistance for poorer members of society.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Law Research Group
Page Range: 998-1003, 1016
Depositing User: Andrew Watson
Date Deposited: 16 Jan 2018 15:30
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 16:31

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