Arkansas attorneys and law students will celebrate National Pro Bono Week beginning October 24, 2011, with a series of events that will include the provision of free legal services to first responders.
The celebration is a coordinated national effort to meet the ever-growing needs of this country’s most vulnerable citizens. Events throughout the week will encourage and support local efforts to expand the delivery of pro bono legal services and serve to showcase the great difference that pro bono attorneys make to the nation, its system of justice, its communities, and most of all, to the clients they serve.
Event highlights in Arkansas include:
- Monday, October 24 – Proclamations Recognizing Importance of Pro Bono Service
Governor Mike Beebe, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola, and Fayetteville Mayor Lioneld Jordan will issue proclamations recognizing the important role that Arkansas pro bono attorneys play in ensuring that low-income Arkansans have access to civil justice.
- Tuesday, October 25 – Pro Bono Luncheon in Northwest Arkansas
Presidents of the Benton and Washington County Bar associations, along with 2011 Legal Aid Outstanding Service Award winner Eva Madison, will speak at a luncheon hosted in the E.J. Ball Courtroom at the University of Arkansas School of Law.
- Wednesday, October 26 – Free Lawyers for First Responders in Northwest Arkansas
Volunteer attorneys will be available to prepare simple wills, advance directives, and powers of attorney for health care and financial matters to first responders in northwest Arkansas, including firefighters, police officers, and emergency health care workers. This is a free service provided by Arkansas lawyers from multiple organizations, law firms, bar associations and the University of Arkansas School of Law.
- Thursday, October 27 – Free Lawyers for First Responders in Central Arkansas
Following issuance of a proclamation from Attorney General Dustin McDaniel recognizing the importance of pro bono service, volunteer attorneys will be available to prepare simple wills, advance directives, and powers of attorney for health care and financial matters to first responders in central Arkansas. This is a free service provided by Arkansas lawyers from multiple organizations, law firms, bar associations and UALR Bowen School of Law.
- Friday, October 28 – Just Jeans Law firms, corporate legal departments, government legal offices, judicial offices, and law schools are encouraged to participate in the Just Jeans event by observing a casual Friday on October 28, 2011, with participants making a minimum suggested contribution of $5. Contributions collected will go to the Arkansas Access to Justice Foundation to support efforts to increase the financial and pro bono volunteer resources available to our state’s two legal aid providers. This will, in turn, help low-income Arkansans, including domestic violence victims, children, and senior citizens, access the legal services they need.
- Saturday, October 29 – iProBono
Arkansas pro bono attorneys will be able to download, free of charge, the first Pro Bono mobile service application through iTunes. Through this app, registered Arkansas pro bono attorneys will be able to accept cases representing low-income Arkansans based on legal topic, county, or by other categories with their iPhones. Two Arkansas web and software development companies, LogiCurrent and Path Designs, are providing free development services for this innovative project.
Legal Aid of Arkansas and the Center for Arkansas Legal Services are non-profit organizations that provide free legal services to low-income Arkansans with civil legal problems, including orders of protection for domestic abuse victims, uncontested guardianships of minors, consumer issues and public housing. With 17 offices staffed by more than 50 attorneys throughout the state, plus a volunteer pool of about 1,500 attorneys, legal aid services benefited more than 30,000 low-income people and the elderly with their critical legal needs in 2010. However, more than 555,000 were eligible for legal aid in 2010, and thousands of those Arkansans in need were turned away due to lack of resources. Learn more at www.arlegalservices.org | www.arkansasjustice.org.