Last month, the ABA’s Standing Committee on Pro Bono & Public Service provided Vermont’s Access to Justice Coalition with A Report on the Pro Bono Work of Vermont’s Lawyers. Lawyers from 24 states participated in a survey, with the data serving as the basis for state-specific reports.
The A2J Coalition is reviewing the Vermont report. Soon, the Coalition hopes to receive a national report that reflects the aggregate data from the states that participated. Once the national report is available, we’ll have something to compare to Vermont. I’m not positive, but I expect that the Coalition will disseminate the report after having time to digest and compare.
I’ve seen a draft of the Vermont report. The results suggest that Vermont lawyers have questions about the relationship between pro bono & legal ethics. To that end, I thought I’d re-post a blog that I authored last October. It includes some of my thoughts on the section of the Vermont Rules of Professional Conduct that addresses pro bono. Check it out HERE for a primer/refresher.
Otherwise, stay tuned. Soon we’ll have a better idea of how we’re doing and what we can do better. For now, here’s a relatively new opportunity that you might have missed: Vermont Free Legal Answers.
Oh . . . and here’s a sneak preview that happens to double as my favorite part of the report. Given a long list of factors that may or may not motivate lawyers to do pro bono work, Vermont lawyers ranked “Helping People in Need” as the top motivator.
Isn’t that what it’s all about.