MONTGOMERY, ALA. (October 20, 2011) – The Montgomery County Bar Association (MCBA) will join the Alabama State Bar again this year in celebrating National Pro Bono Week. The event is set for October 23-29, 2011. Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley signed a proclamation recognizing Pro Bono Week, saying “a huge unmet need for civil legal assistance remains for disadvantaged Alabamians.” National Pro Bono Week was established in 2009 by the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

Elton Dean presenting to Kendall Dunson Pro Bono Week 2011 promotes access to civil justice for the poor
County Commission Chairman Elton Dean, left, presented Montgomery County Bar Association President Kendall Dunson, who is a Shareholder at Beasley Allen Law Firm, with a proclamation declaring Oct. 23-29, 2011 as Pro Bono Week in Montgomery County. This is part of a nationwide effort to promote access to civil justice for the poor.

“Our country has the best legal system in the world,” Beasley Allen Shareholder and MCBA President Kendall Dunson says. “Our system is based on the belief and practice that equal justice must be available to all citizens including those who cannot afford an attorney. Pro Bono services provided by attorneys are a large part of ensuring equal access to justice for all of our citizens.”

The Montgomery County Bar and the Alabama State Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program (VLP) will hold a Legal Advice clinic on Tuesday, October 4, and Tuesday, November 1, 2011. The clinic will run from 3-5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Montgomery Community Action Agency building 1100 Adams Avenue, Montgomery, Ala. Volunteer attorneys will met with member of the public who need assistance with a legal problem or who have a legal question.

The MCBA also will celebrate Pro Bono Week by hosting a Fall Social for its members on Thursday, Oct. 27, from 5-7 p.m. at the Alley Bar in downtown Montgomery. This event also is open to new Alabama State Bar inductees. The event will emphasize participation in the Volunteer Lawyers Program. Just a few hours of time can make a world of difference for the legal profession, the community, and those desperately in need of free legal assistance in civil matters. The MCBA will raffle prizes, including an iPad, to attorneys who participate in the VLP. Lawyers with prior membership in the VLP and those who agree to participate during Pro Bono Week will be eligible for the raffle.

In 2010, Alabama’s legal community donated more than 12,000 hours in free legal services and made generous financial contributions to legal aid organizations in our state. However, there remains a great disparity between the numbers of lawyers who are available to represent the general public and the number of lawyers available to represent the poor, creating a “justice gap” of more than 500,000 citizens who have an unresolved legal problem.

For a full list of Pro Bono Week activities visit the Alabama State Bar online.

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