State Bar Seeks Law Firm Applications for Pro Bono Circle of Excellence by March 31

The State Bar of Michigan invites all law firms of two or more attorneys to apply for the Pro Bono Circle of Excellence, which recognizes every firm that has fully complied with the State Bar's Voluntary Pro Bono Standard. The application deadline is Wednesday, March 31, 2010.

''The Pro Bono Circle of Excellence is important, not only because it provides much deserved recognition to law firms, but also because their examples of service inspire others to meet our pro bono standard and underscore the importance of pro bono assistance for those in need,'' said SBM President Charles Toy, who noted that legal service to the poor is the legal profession's first public service priority.

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. For a full explanation of the Voluntary Pro Bono Standard, visit http://tinyurl. com/ yznfeuo. Contributions to the Access to Justice Fund ( 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

The Circle of Excellence is published frequently in the Michigan Bar Journal, posted on the State Bar and the Michigan State Bar Foundation's websites, and is distributed at the Annual Meeting.

To apply for the Pro Bono Circle of Excellence, visit http://

For more information, contact Candace Crowley at or 517-346-6319.

Published: Thu, Mar 11, 2010