ALM Properties, Inc.
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PRO BONO HOTLIST
The National Law Journal
Esther Lardent didn't mince words. The pro bono situation and access to justice for the poor is "hideous," Lardent, president of the Pro Bono Institute, said during an interview. "People talk about the justice gap; I now refer to it as the justice chasm."
There's a bit of a data lag here surveys of law firm's pro bono hours won't be available until later in the new year. The National Law Journal affiliate The American Lawyer reported in July that large firms reported an 8 percent decline in average pro bono hours during 2010. This year, "anecdotally, I think it's very likely that the pro bono numbers will be lower, certainly than they were at their 2009 high," Lardent said.
The good news is that the profession is getting more innovative, she said. Judges have joined the agitation for improved access to justice, and corporate legal departments continue to ramp up according to Lardent, nearly 300 now have forged pro bono partnerships with their outside firms. Global firms are going global with their pro bono programs.
This edition of the NLJ highlights 10 firms that haven't forgotten their professional obligations even especially during hard times. Often, at considerable expense or risk to themselves. Michael Moline