As a lawyer, you are uniquely qualified to lift a desperate person from despair and hopelessness. Each year tens of thousands of low-income Missouri families who cannot afford to hire a lawyer are effectively excluded from our legal system. The consequences of this lack of legal assistance can be devastating: serious physical abuse continues, families lose their homes, and disabled people go without income or medical care.
You have been asked many times in the past to volunteer your legal skills to help prevent this injustice. And during this National Celebrate Pro Bono Week, we wanted to take this opportunity to ask again for your help. The number of people needing free legal assistance continues to increase. The Legal Services Programs in Missouri are turning away thousands of people because they don't have enough staff, money or pro bono volunteers.
We are providing with this email a link to The Missouri Bar Pro Bono website. This site serves as a resource connecting lawyers who are interested in providing pro bono services with organizations within the state that serve the needs of low-income individuals who are in need of legal assistance. Lawyers can search for pro bono opportunities by an “affiliate” organization’s name, by location within the state and by practice area. Contact and case type information is provided for you to connect and volunteer with the nearest Legal Services office in Missouri or one of a number of other “affiliate” organizations serving low-income citizens in need of pro bono legal assistance. (Visit Missouri Bar Pro Bono Website)
In addition to making a connection and offering your expertise to organizations in need of your help, we also ask you to consider taking the time to voluntarily report the number of hours that you provide pro bono services annually. Voluntary reporting of your hours will help us gain a collective understanding of the pro bono efforts by members of our state’s legal profession and will help in our efforts to remind the public of the outstanding volunteer efforts of our bar members. We have provided a link to an electronic voluntary reporting form, which makes it easy and convenient to report your hours for 2012. (Voluntary Reporting of Pro Bono Hours Electronic Form)
We urge you to join our profession's efforts to provide access to justice for all Missourians.