Davis, Court Communications Officer, (515)725-8058
Supreme Court Promotes Pro Bono Legal Services
Moines, October 19, 2009—The
Iowa Supreme Court issued a resolution today urging all lawyers to devote at
least 50 hours of pro bono legal services each year. Lawyers who provide pro
bono legal service donate their time and expertise to assist individuals who
cannot afford legal counsel. The court also encourages judges to encourage pro
bono service by lawyers. The court's resolution coincides with and recognizes
the American Bar Association's first National Pro Bono Week Celebration October
The resolution notes that "Many Iowans of limited means are unable
to afford legal services to address their civil legal problems. Legal service
organizations and volunteer lawyers do much to help address these needs for
civil legal services."
"Despite the valiant efforts of Iowa's legal service organizations
and thousands of volunteer lawyers, there is a substantial gap between the
civil legal needs of those who cannot afford legal services and the resources
available to meet those needs," said Chief Justice Marsha Ternus. "Iowa
Legal Aid Services estimates that more than 17,000 people who went to ILS
for help were turned away or underserved. Many of those people needed
legal assistance to help them secure or maintain basic needs such as housing,
health care and safety.
"The Iowa Supreme Court recognizes and applauds the many Iowa
lawyers who provide pro bono service," continued Chief Justice Ternus. "The
Court strongly encourages each Iowa lawyer to volunteer. Judges should
also encourage pro bono services by lawyers because judges have an interest and
responsibility to ensure public access to justice."
National Pro Bono Week is an opportunity to recognize the
contributions of pro bono lawyers and to recruit additional volunteers to help
meet the legal needs of Iowa's most vulnerable citizens.
# # #
East Court Avenue
Moines, IA 50319