Duly Noted

State Bar seeks law firm applications for Pro Bono Circle of Excellence by March 31

The State Bar of Michigan invites all law firms with two or more attorneys to apply for the Pro Bono Circle of Excellence, which recognizes every firm that has fully complied with the SBM Voluntary Pro Bono Standard. The application deadline is Thursday, March 31, 2011.

“Full firm compliance with the Voluntary Pro Bono Standard helps us address the tremendous unmet legal needs of the poor, and inspires other lawyers to join us in that service,” SBM President W. Anthony Jenkins said.

Both volunteer legal services for low-income individuals and organizations, and financial support for eligible nonprofit organizations providing free civil legal aid for the poor are included in the Voluntary Pro Bono Standard.

More specifically, it calls for lawyers to annually take three pro bono cases, devote at least 30 hours of pro bono service, or contribute $300 to a legal aid provider organization. For a full explanation of the Voluntary Pro Bono Standard, visit http://tinyurl.com/yznfeuo.

Contributions to the Access to Justice Fund (www.atjfund.org) count toward fulfilling the Standard. For other ideas on how to fulfill the Standard, or to share the story of your pro bono contribution, visit the State Bar's "A Lawyer Helps" website at www.alawyerhelps.org.

The Circle of Excellence is published frequently in the Michigan Bar Journal, posted on the SBM and the Michigan State Bar Foundation's websites, and is distributed at the SBM Annual Meeting. To apply for the Pro Bono Circle of Excellence, visit http://www.michbar.org/programs/atj/pdfs/CircleOfExcellence_app.pdf. For more information, contact Rob Mathis at rmathis@mail.michbar.org or (517) 346-6412.

 SBM’s mission is to improve the administration of justice, promote the legal profession, and build public understanding of our legal system.