ABA leaders took part in Pro Bono Week

“Helping those in need is a privilege that we all share,” said American Bar Association President Reginald Turner at a pro bono event on Oct. 27. “As legal professionals, it is our duty to help ensure that all people have the right to equal justice under law.”

He and other ABA leaders did their part to mark the Celebration of Pro Bono, October 24-30.

Turner, an attorney with Clark Hill, attended three events, the first of which was a virtual book club with Brittany K. Barnett, author of “A Knock at Midnight: A Story of Hope, Justice, and Freedom,” and ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service chair David Bienvenu.

Addressing the author, Turner said, “Your work in seeking clemency petitions for individuals who were sentenced with drug crimes as a result of the war on drugs, specifically the many people of color who were disproportionately sentenced, is nothing short of inspiring. And … you beginning this journey as a law student reminds us that we can be change agents at any age – no matter how young or old.”

Turner also virtually attended an Access to Justice Thank You & Celebration hosted by the Michigan State Bar Foundation and a Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida Pro Bono ceremony to honor attorneys for their extraordinary pro bono efforts.

President-elect Deborah Enix-Ross, a senior adviser to the International Dispute Resolution Group of Debevoise & Plimpton, took part in the Oct. 26 New York State Business Council for Access to Justice’s virtual Emergency Rental Assistance Application Clinic.

ABA Executive Director Jack Rives has been fulfilling his pro bono commitment by answering questions through ABA Free Legal Answers.

ABA Model Rule 6.1 establishes the professional responsibility of lawyers to provide 50 hours of pro bono publico legal services a year.