The National Association of Pro Bono Professionals (NAPBPro) is an independent organization of pro bono professionals. NAPBPro, which was created in 1987, “is the only national organization devoted to promoting pro bono services to the poor and the professional development of pro bono managers and professionals and others interested in this field.” (NAPBPRO website, www.napbpro.org, 5/3/2018).
NAPBPRO is an organization devoted to the support of pro bono professionals with the mission to:
Support pro bono legal work, to enhance the professionalism of our members through education and networking, and to advocate for pro bono services in the access to justice community. NAPBPRO welcomes pro bono professionals from all aspects of the legal community. NAPBPRO members include professionals from law schools, law firms, LSC-funded legal services programs, independent legal aid organizations, bar associations, state-wide access to justice organizations, and stand-alone pro bono programs. (NAPBPRO website, www.napbpro.org, 5/3/2018).
NAPBPRO membership spans the country. NAPBPRO offers various opportunities for member development, such as webinars and a virtual conference. In 2018, NAPBPRO will be launching the “Leadership Academy”, which will pair new and experienced pro bono leaders together to develop their professional leadership through a mentoring relationship. NAPBPRO also offers the annual Tanya Nieman Pro Bono Professional of the Year and the William Reece Smith Jr. Special Services to Pro Bono Awards, both presented at the ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference. In addition, NAPBPRO offers the Hanna Cohn Equal Justice Scholarship, which can be used to attend the annual ABA/NLADA Equal Justice Conference.
We asked NAPBPRO members to share their stories with us. Here is what a few of them had to say:
I become the pro bono manager of Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida in February, 2008 and joined NAPBPRO in May of that same year at the Equal Justice Conference. NAPBPRO members and training programs have played a major role in my professional development during the past 10 years. I could not imagine doing my job without being a part of this organization. — Lena Hopkins, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida
NAPBPRO provides its members with opportunities to become pro bono leaders, receive specific training on pro bono, network with people who share the same career path, and stay involved in the most important pro bono news of the day. NAPBPRO not only helped me jump start my pro bono program, but it helped me keep in tune with important trends and information to keep my program strong. On a personal note, the most important benefit NAPBPRO has afforded me is the wonderful network of friends I have developed around the country. My NAPBPRO friends have helped provide support and guidance when I needed it most! Thanks NAPBPRO! — Jennifer Van Dulmen, Community Legal Aid, Ohio
Being part of a network such as NAPBPRO has allowed me to meet folks from all other walks of pro bono and while some of our challenges are vastly different, some of them are all the same no matter where we’re from. NAPBPRO is valuable because it reminds me and others that we’re not alone in the pro bono world. If you’re in an organization and the only pro bono staff, it can be lonely and remembering that we’re here is important. The listserve is a great tool and when we use it – we get tons of responses! — Ericka Garcia, Collaborative Justice Partners
When you’re in this line of work, it’s great knowing you’re backed by colleagues that span the nation. That’s what my membership with NAPBPRO has done for me: knowing that I can confidently try new things or fail spectacularly and still have wisdom beside me from all directions. — Krista Scully, Alaska Bar Association
Thanks to NAPBPRO for all of your hard work to support pro bono professionals and provide access to justice for those in need!