Pro Bono Task Force report: ‘If we don’t do it, who will?’

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Harvard Law School Dean Martha Minow and John Levi ’72, LL.M. ‘73, the chairman of the Legal Services Corporation, presented the report of the Corporation’s Pro Bono Task Force in in HLS’s Wasserstein Hall on Oct. 3, at an event hosted by HLS Professor David Wilkins ‘80, director of the Law School’s Program on Legal Education.

Minow, who co-chaired the task force with Harry J.F. Korrell III, oversaw a body that sought new ideas to increase attorney involvement in pro bono cases. Among its results were recommendations for the LSC and its grantees, as well as requests of leaders in the legal profession, which included:

  •  Forming a professional association of pro bono coordinators at LSC-funded organizations;
  • Asking Congress to create a new Pro Bono Innovation/Incubation Fund modeled on LSC’s successful Technology Initiatives Grant (TIG) program; and
  • Developing a fellowship program for new graduates and emeritus lawyers designed to build support for civil legal services and pro bono within firms, law schools, and the legal profession as a whole.
  • Allowing lawyers to take on limited-representation matters or unbundle services; and to take on pro bono matters in jurisdictions other than those in which they are licensed to practice.

Levi addressed the room to recount the struggles of the legal system, including the tremendous gap in access to legal advice. Turning to the audience, he asked, “If we don’t do it, who will?”

You can watch a video of the full event here.