I just had an article on pro bono published in the October 2014 Georgia Bar Journal. Check it out.
Posted in Justice
In his blog, access to justice visionary Richard Zorza points to pro bono as the legal profession’s savior. Read his article here: Pro Bono Could Lead the Way in Resolving the Struggle for the Soul of the Legal Profession.
I’m working on a project now to deliver legal resources to the public via SMS. The aim is to see if we can increase awareness of our free online legal help resources, motivate users to access those resources via SMS and use those resources and provide a means by which users can report their level of success in accessing and using the resources.
Our Georgia SMS campaign is aimed at increasing awareness about credit card debt collections and also garnishments. We have online resources available through SMS. Text “action” to 877877.
Text “action” to 877877.
In a rambling sort of way I sort through cabinets in which manila file folders rest until, crisp bottom fold lost and rounded, they open like wilted and faded petals over-revealing their aged content. After 16 years in this pro bono business, I have filed away many word collections and cultivated thoughts and half-brained ideas. The cabinets open and disgorge the stories. I am simply the curator now, after my power to narrate has been diminished by the would-haves and should-haves.
One musters the courage to linger over a file folder that offers up razor blades for the self-mutilator. Slipping through the paper-clipped pages I see where I could have helped but did not. How was my vision then? I think of John Keats’ Ode to a Nightingale, “was it a vision or a waking dream? Fled is that music–do I wake or sleep?” How do I see and not see?
The poetry of pro bono falls within many camps: romantic, mystic, modern, classic. But all poetry is code, expression under oppression. In the forming of the work lies the frustration of too little, too few, too much, too important.
The discernment of success and failure is at best a short-lived contentedness. All things wrapped in evolution offer up hope.
My aged paper files lie wilted, no fragrance except that of uneasiness. Sweet, the same.
Today, I’m at the Pro Bono Institute Conference in DC, then heading home. Yesterday’s session on tech went quite well.
In the veterans law pro bono session yesterday, the consensus among the law firms and corporate counsel programs was that no one had a handle on pro bono legal assistance for the homeless vet– that we needed some national gathering on the subject. This morning, by grand coincidence, I struck up a conversation with a doctor at breakfast who happens to be here in DC for the national Health Care for the Homeless conference.
I have a new inspiration– for somebody– not me (too much to do now): forming local medical-legal partnerships with affiliates of the National Health Care for the Homeless Program. NHCHC has a network of programs who have expertise in reaching out to the homeless, including homeless veterans. We should also reach out to the Health Care for the Homeless Conference organizers to see about conference cross-pollenization on legal issues affecting homeless veterans. We need to learn about how they deliver their services and apply the lessons our work to provide critical legal assistance.
On Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 the Mercer University School of Law and the Macon Bar Association will stage a concert at the Cox Capitol Theater in Macon to benefit the Macon Regional Office of the Georgia Legal Services Program. The bands SUE ‘N’ THE BASTARDS and THE DEACONS OF DISASTER will take the stage. Doors open at 6 p.m.. The show begins at 7 p.m.. Admission is: $50.00/Attorney $25.00/Supporter $10.00/Student (with ID Available at the Door) . Attorney and Individual Tickets are available. To purchase tickets click here.