Last year, more than half of the individuals who applied for assistance from a North Carolina legal aid organization could not be served. National data echoes the same trend – too many of our friends, neighbors, and colleagues are in need of legal help but cannot afford a lawyer.
The National Pro Bono Week Celebration brings attention to the ever-growing need for pro bono services and recognizes the valuable contributions of lawyers who volunteer their legal services to individuals in need. Members of the North Carolina legal community are putting the spotlight on pro bono work from October 23-29, 2016 as part of this National Celebration.
During Pro Bono Week, North Carolina legal aid programs, bar associations, law firms, law schools, pro bono programs, and others will celebrate pro bono by recognizing volunteers, offering training, providing pro bono legal services at clinics, hosting events to raise money for legal aid, and raising awareness of the need for pro bono.
And the need is great. There is only one legal aid attorney for every 13,170 low-income people in North Carolina. There is one private attorney for every 562 North Carolinians. Last year, lawyers across North Carolina gave more than 27,000 hours to help legal aid organizations provide critical assistance to low-income North Carolinians struggling with civil legal problems ranging from domestic violence to foreclosure. The total value of the pro bono volunteer contributions exceeded
$5.4 million in 2015.
For more information about events in your area, visit http://www.probono.net/celebrateprobono/events/. For more information about how to volunteer for a pro bono project in your area, visit www.ncprobono.org and www.ncbar.org/giving/volunteer-now/.