American Bar Association Honors Federal Government Pro Bono Program with 2009 Pro Bono Publico Award
CHICAGO, July 20, 2009 – The Federal Government will receive one of five 2009 Pro Bono Publico Awards from the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service for its support to the poor and organizations that serve them in the Washington, D.C., and Chicago communities.
The award, which will be presented on Monday, Aug. 3, at the Pro Bono Publico Awards Assembly Luncheon at noon at the Hyatt Regency Chicago during the ABA Annual Meeting, recognizes the work by lawyers from 36 federal government agencies who provide pro bono legal services to the underrepresented in the nation’s capitol and to 15-Chicago-based federal agencies in the Chicagoland area.
ABA President H. Thomas Wells Jr. will present the 2009 awards. “Lawyers who work for the federal government are to be commended for all they do in conjunction with such groups at the DC Bar Association and Illinois Legal Aid Online,” said Wells. “Through this work lawyers for the federal government are not only providing needed legal services to the poorest among us, but are setting an example for other legal organizations.”
The Pro Bono Publico Awards honor individuals or organizations in the legal community that enhance the human dignity of others by improving or delivering volunteer legal services to the poor or disadvantaged.
Established under former President Bill Clinton in 1996, the Federal Government Pro Bono Program encourages government lawyers to do pro bono work, authorizing the U.S. attorney general to coordinate efforts among agencies and staff.
The federal government continues to expand this program, seeking new partners and opportunities for its volunteer lawyers. Current plans call for expansion of the program into Baltimore and New York City.
More information on the Pro Bono Publico Awards and the 2009 recipients is available at http://www.abanet.org/legalservices/probono/nav_awards.shtml.
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.