National Pro Bono Week in the AACPLL

This week, October 25 through October 31, 2009 is the  first annual National Pro Bono Celebration.  The  ABA Press Release of July 8, 2009 states that this Pro Bono Celebration will recognize the legal work done on behalf of the poor and underserved.’s “Celebrate Pro Bono” page describes this event, “sponsored by the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service,”  as “a coordinated national effort to showcase the great difference pro bono lawyers make… The week is also dedicated to the quest for more pro bono volunteers to meet the ever-growing legal needs of this country’s most vulnerable citizens.”

The Anne Arundel County Public Law Library with the Anne Arundel Bar Association Pro Bono Committee will celebrate with the establishment of the “Ask a Lawyer in the Law Library” program.  On Wednesday, October 28, from 11:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m., two attorneys will be in the library for two-hour shifts to answer legal questions.   The program will continue on every third Wednesday of the month from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

In January the program will expand into the Anne Arundel County Public libraries for evening hours, beginning with the Maryland City Russet branch.  With more volunteers, the hours and dates can be increased at both locations.

There will be drop-in information sessions  on pro bono opportunities for Anne Arundel County attorneys everyday between 11:00 and 1:00 for Pro Bono week.  Cookies and coffee will be served   The AACPLL wiki, created to provide information on pro bono opportunities as well as resources to which attorneys can make referrals, will be highlighted during these sessions.  It is hoped that with this information, attorneys will find it easier to provide the pro bono service that is so needed.

By Joan Bellistri

Law Library Director for the Anne Arundel County Public Law Library

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