Resolving to Improve Pro Bono Legal Services in the New Year

Today is the final working day of 2011 at the ABA Center for Pro Bono and it is very quiet in the office, which is a great time to catch up on reading, filing and other work.

One of the items I read this morning is 2012 Resolutions for the Nonprofit World. There are some great resolutions on the list. Some of my favorites are:

  • Explicitly fund overhead—we all have it and we all need it. (So true!)
  • …nonprofit leaders should concentrate on addressing income inequality and the social problems that creates.
  • Stop referring to our industry by what we don’t do. Not-for-profit is a tax status, not an operating model. We are social-benefit organizations that produce significant value.
  • …work together as a sector to accelerate progress on measuring the impact of our work and using the results to make our work better.

If funders and pro bono organizations commit to these resolutions, we could see an improvement in the delivery of pro bono legal services in 2012…. but these only address the organizational side. 

Attorneys in every practice setting can take the opportunity of the new year to examine their pro bono committment. Are you, as an individual, committed to pro bono? Is your firm/corporation/government agency/law school? Is there room for improvement? What can you resolve to change in 2012 to do your part to increase access to justice?

If you’d like to share your resolution, please include it in the Comments below.

Happy New Year to you all!


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