Nashville, Tenn. Sept. 30, 2011 -- Tennessee lawyers this October are again joining their colleagues from across the country to provide free legal services to those in need and celebrate the good work performed by lawyers every day.
Following on the success of last year's Celebrate Pro Bono Month when nearly 300 Tennessee lawyers assisted more than 1,100 clients on topics ranging from domestic violence protection to estate planning, lawyers are again stepping up to provide legal clinics, education programs, public presentations and other events. Activities kickoff with legal clinics in Franklin and Johnson City on Oct. 1 and continue throughout the month at cities and towns across the state. See a complete listing of programs and learn how to volunteer.
Celebrate Pro Bono Month is part of a national campaign launched last year by the American Bar Association. In Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam has again recognized the good works of Tennessee attorneys in meeting the tremendous need for legal services in a proclamation declaring October as Celebrate Pro Bono Month in Tennessee. In this document, the Governor commended Tennessee lawyers for providing 567,000 hours of pro bono or free legal assistance last year.
Studies show that more than one million Tennesseans are unable to afford the legal services they need. "Despite funding for legal assistance provided by the Legal Services Corporation, the state of Tennessee, and private fundraising efforts," the Governor wrote, "four out of five requests to legal aid are turned down due to lack of resources." Tennessee lawyers can continue to help meet this need by volunteering to take part in Celebrate Pro Bono Month activities or by signing up with pro bono organizations across the state.
Volunteers taking part in this year's Celebrate Pro Bono activities are encouraged to wear a "Volunteer for Justice" hat that will be provided free of charge by the Tennessee Bar Association's Access to Justice Committee.