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October 19, 2009
Contact: Janet Eveleth
(410) 685-7878
Release No. 09-012


      Every year, Maryland lawyers donate over one million hours of free legal services to the poor by volunteering for pro bono service. Next week, 1000s of volunteer lawyers will be honored for this service when the American Bar Association (ABA), in conjunction with Maryland’s legal community, celebrates the first National Pro Bono Week, October 25-31. This initiative will showcase the volunteer attorneys who help the indigent with pro bono service and call attention to the overwhelming legal needs of poor people in this country.

The ABA’s first National Pro Bono Week applauds the huge difference pro bono attorneys make to this country’s justice system and the indigent clients they serve. A recent ABA study reports that nearly three-fourths (73 percent) of lawyers in this country give free legal services to disadvantaged individuals or organizations that serve them. Yet, millions of Americans are in dire need of legal services so lawyers across the country, and in Maryland, are encouraged to volunteer for even more pro bono service to help poor people needing legal assistance.

Throughout the week of October 25th the Maryland State Bar Association, its pro bono arm, the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland, and Maryland’s local bar associations will sponsor 15 events to recognize and thank lawyers who volunteer to help the indigent with their legal needs. Many of the scheduled events will offer free legal assistance so pro bono lawyers can give back to their local communities. Other events will recognize and thank local volunteer attorneys. A complete list of events may be found at

All lawyers are encouraged to participate in one of the numerous local events planned for National Pro Bono Week, Oct 25-31. Volunteer lawyers are always needed to help the indigent.

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A Voluntary, non-profit membership organization, the Maryland State Bar Association is comprised of more than 23,000 attorneys and judges. The MSBA monitors judicial and legislative issues, offers legal education opportunities and promotes leadership within the legal profession. The MSBA offers public service programs to ensure the delivery of quality legal services to all citizens and is committed to furthering the efficient administration of justice and equality for all.